That didn't take long, did it? After the departure of Hunger Games director Gary Ross, and the journalistic brouhaha surrounding it, Lionsgate wasted no time in finding a replacement, because time is of the essence. The sequel, Catching Fire, has to begin production before the end of the year to make room for the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, to fulfill her contractual obligation to X-Men: First Class 2. While many directors were considered for the film, which seems like a guaranteed smash hit at this point, it apparently all boiled down to two contenders: Bennett Miller, the director of Capote and Moneyball, and Francis Lawrence, the director of Constantine and I Am Legend. They went with the second option, which is bound to disappoint some people.
Or maybe not. Miller is an acclaimed director but Lawrence has at least proven his action chops, something the choppy action in the first Hunger Games movie could benefit from. Hollywood Reporter broke the news first, with Deadline reporting just minutes later that the choice reportedly came down to scheduling. Miller reportedly wanted to make Catching Fire, but wanted the production postponed so he could make the upcoming Steve Carell drama Foxcatcher. Then again, if postponing the picture were an option, Gary Ross could have stayed on board. So Francis Lawrence we get.
While Lawrence has never directed a film on par with, say, Pleasantville or even Seabiscuit, he's proven himself capable of helming a large-scale production, and Lionsgate no doubt is placing their confidence in him to put the film together as rapidly as necessary. And besides, after the incredible box office business of the first Hunger Games, it would seem that Catching Fire is bound to make money no matter who directs it. It's still a pity that David Cronenberg didn't do it, since that would have been weird.
What do you think? Is the director of Constantine the man for the job? What do fans of the books have to say?
CraveOnline will be back with more Catching Fire news after we give Lucifer the finger.