Francis Lawrence will direct 'Hunger Games' sequel 'Catching Fire'

20

April

rsz_tbd-francislawrence042312.jpgIt didn't take long for Lionsgate to replace Hunger Games director Gary Ross, announcing I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence will take the chair for Catching Fire. The good news is, we know he's capable of making movies that make you cry when a character dies. The bad news is, it was for Will Smith's dog, so we don't know if that counts.

The Hollywood Reporter says Lawrence got the offer on Thursday, winning out over Moneyball maven Bennett Miller. The search reportedly also included Let the Right One In's Tomas Alfredson, Babel's Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Jane Eyre's Cary Fukunaga and Source Code's Duncan Jones. Lawrence's open schedule was what tipped the offer in his favor, so take that how you will.

Ross announced he wasn't returning not even two weeks ago, and Catching Fire already has a Nov. 22, 2013 release date, so the race is on. THR notes Ross had worked not only on the Hunger Games script, but was planning on smoothing out Simon Beaufoy's screenplay for the sequel. Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) also needs to be done shooting by early January so she can make the sequel to X-Men: First Class. No wonder the announcement was made so quickly -- if they waited any longer, all those people willing to fork over $10 may have had to wait a few months!

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Friday, April 20, 2012 12:03pm]

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