Francis Lawrence Offered ‘Catching Fire’ Directors Gig

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Movies

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Lionsgate searching for a new director for The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire after Gary Ross’ departure from the franchise after a contract issue could not be resolved.  Names were tossed about, speculation was made, and now it seems as if Lionsgate has made their choice.

The production studio has reportedly offered the job to direct next year’s most anticipated movie to Water For Elephants and I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence.  Lawrence reportedly got the offer over Bennett Miller, someone who I thought Lionsgate would have picked nine times out of ten, due to Miller having a “passion project” in the works with the upcoming film Foxcatcher.  Lawrence makes sense on many different levels though as he’s helmed two big budget action titles (Constantine/I Am Legend) and he knows his way around an ensemble cast.

The Los Angeles Times makes note that Lionsgate gave consideration to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy director Tomas Alfredson, Unstoppable director Tony Scott, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close director Stephen Daldry.

Catching Fire will be Lawrence’s biggest film to date, even bigger than I Am Legend – which starred the biggest name in the world in Will Smith – but it’s good to know he’s got experience in the realm of big budget action titles.  I Am Legend cost around $150 million to make, Catching Fire is likely to exceed that.

Lawrence wouldn’t have been my first choice but the studio needed to act quickly and didn’t really have time to wait around, so given the circumstances I think Lawrence is an ok hire.

I’ll keep you posted though.

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