Lionsgate Fully Confirms Francis Lawrence for 'Catching Fire' Sequel
After getting the offer just a few weeks back, Lionsgate, a "leading global entertainment company" or movie studio that has finally become one of the big
six seven, has announced that they've signed and set Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to smash hit The Hunger Games. "Lionsgate, the cast, and filmmakers are all thrilled to have Francis Lawrence come on board as director of Catching Fire," stated in a press release today. "It is truly an honor and a privilege to bring Catching Fire, the second chapter of Suzanne's beloved trilogy, to the big screen," stated Lawrence.
"From the very beginning of this brilliant trilogy's journey from page to screen, our first priority has been to stay true to the heart and soul of Suzanne Collins' powerful stories. From my first conversation with Francis, I knew he would make a great partner for both me and Suzanne. His passion for Catching Fire and inspired ideas for a faithful adaptation make him the perfect director for this movie. I know this will be a wonderful collaboration and I cannot wait to get started," said producer Nina Jacobson. It's obvious everyone involved is passionate about Lawrence taking over the reigns from Gary Ross this time, and they're confident he'll pull it off. "Suzanne's brilliant [second] book is the intense story of the birth of the rebellion and Katniss' emotionally charged journey as she takes on the mantle of the Mockingjay, and we all think Francis is the perfect director to bring the story to life," said Lionsgate's President of Production Erik Feig.
Francis Lawrence himself reiterates the comments, adding: "I fell in love with the characters, the themes and the world she created and this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way. I can't wait to dive right into it and bring this chapter to life along with the truly superb cast and filmmakers involved." Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles. Production is slated to begin this Fall, and will be released on November 22nd, 2013. And so, like Twilight before it, Hunger Games goes into rapid-fire sequel succession to take us to the end of the series. Let's see what Lawrence can bring to it.