Francis Lawrence to Helm Hunger Games Sequel ‘Catching Fire’

Speaking of The Hunger Games trilogy. Director Francis Lawrence has been tapped by Lionsgate to step in and direct the sequel to The Hunger Games in August. Gary Ross, the director of the first film, bowed out because Lionsgate wanted to turn this sequel around quickly and Jennifer Lawrence — Katniss Everdeen — wanted to do both this and the sequel to X-Men: First Class, which begins shooting in January.

So Ross was out and Francis Lawrence is in. He’s best known for directing ahem, Constantine, I Am Legend, and Water For Elephants, as well as a slew of music videos. He’s a bit better than a journeyman hack, that’s for sure, but he’s not exactly a name I feel confident in. This is not the same as when Harry Potter switched from Chris Columbus to Alfonso Cuaron, that’s for sure. Actually, it’s kind of like going from Cuaron to Columbus, in many respects.

Bennett Miller, who directed Moneyball and Capote was the preferred choice, but like Ross, he too wanted more prep time to make the film.

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