'I Am Legend' Director Francis Lawrence Has Offer for 'Catching Fire'
For those of us hoping that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron would be at the helm of Catching Fire after his name made Lionsgate's shortlist to replace director Gary Ross after his departure earlier this month, we have some bad news. Cuaron will not be directing The Hunger Games sequel, but a decent replacement has still been roped in as Heat Vision reports I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence has an official offer to direct the next installment in the franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, based on the best-selling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins.
Lawrence (who is not related to the film's star, despite their same last name) wasn't picked necessarily because he was the best director, but his schedule was completely open, allowing Lionsgate to meet their production time table and get the film into theaters by November 22nd, 2013, and finish production before Lawrence has to head off to shoot the X-Men: First Class sequel looking to shoot at the beginning of the same year. Bennett Miller (Moneyball) was the other front runner (both names were not mentioned in our last report), but since he's busy getting Foxcatcher off the ground (a passion project of his which just gained Mark Ruffalo), and he didn't feel like delaying the film.
Apparently other names in the running included Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) and Duncan Jones (Moon and Source Code). Honestly, I would've loved to have seen Jones' take on the material, but I suppose Lawrence will have to do. The kind of action we'll see in Catching Fire isn't much different that I Am Legend with the exception of more sci-fi and less horror with the same amount of suspense. On the other hand, I wish Lionsgate would get some balls and spend some money on a director with more established style, even if it's not Cuaron, it should be someone given the same shot he was given with Prisoner of Azkaban. And with a director like Lawrence, another screenwriter, or Simon Beaufoy, will need to be brought back in for rewrites, whereas if Ross was directing, he would take care of the script himself. Here's hoping the production doesn't suffer because of the schedule restraints.