Lionsgate has ultimately decided on “I Am Legend” and “Water for Elephants” helmer Francis Lawrence to direct “Catching Fire”, the upcoming “The Hunger Games” sequel reports the trades.
Various names flew back and forth as the potential replacement for the first film’s helmer Gary Ross once it was confirmed he was out. Juan Antonio Bayona and Bennett Miller came close, but ultimately Lawrence was selected. Others also in contention a few weeks ago were the likes of Tomas Alfredson, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Cary Fukunaga and Duncan Jones.
A big reason was because of his open schedule and the studio’s firm commitment to start production in late August. An official offer was sent out to him yesterday afternoon with a deal hoped to be worked out shortly. Once that’s done, Lawrence will get to work with scribe Simon Beaufoy and author Suzanne Collins to fix up scripting issues.
Meanwhile the first film is set to return to 100 IMAX theatres for a week – from April 27 to May 3rd – due to overwhelming demand.