'I Am Legend' Director Francis Lawrence Has Offer for 'Catching Fire'

April 19, 2012
Source: Heat Vision

Francis Lawrence

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.

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I was excited for Lawrence, but now that I see Alfredson's and Jones' names were in the running, I'm disappointed. Catching Fire will still be great, but think of what could have been... 

Dalton Weaver on Apr 19, 2012


I think Lawrence is a great and underrated director. I think he has a very neat visual style and he has done GREAT action. Constantine anyone?  I say "yay" for Mr. Lawrence

lukini on Apr 19, 2012


He also worked on the excellent, underrated (and cancelled too damned early) series KINGS.

Scopedog on Apr 20, 2012


Constantine yes! How about a forum where some ideas could be thrown around. I had some pretty good ideas for that one. Sad that it's taken six years to get here but would this be the place to post them? What I will say as a bit of about Keanu vs. Udo Kier (Asmodeus). As well as Dave Navarro (Ashtaroth) and an actress to play a wicked Astoreth? Kind of a retelling of the old story of Tobit in ancient Nineveh where we actually find the archangel Raphael in disguise trying to help some couple overcome the threatening murders of suitors caused by Asmodeus. Matt Damon as Raphael? Or somebody else...Come on now, maybe if another movie that is a scarily-twisted love story was liked enough, there would be enough for an additional story that reveals the archangel Michael (not Paul Bettany from Legion exactly). I liked Constantine and I think Francis could do something like that. Rather than the spear of St. Morris, uh, I mean Longinus (do they need a tech advisor about the history?), the relic in this one could be the holy grail of Antioch. Hmmm...Got Faith anyone? Or is it Eric Faith on Facebook?

Eric Matthew Faith on May 1, 2012


Duncan Jones would have owned.

Scared S#!tless on Apr 19, 2012


Meh. Sacrificing quality for release date is bullshit.

Hu on Apr 19, 2012


This guy is gong to ruin it, dosen't matter anyways, it's hard to live up to what ross created

HazedMind on Apr 19, 2012


How do you know this?  I mean....are you some sort of pre-cog that can look into the future? In all seriousness--why not give the man a chance instead of shooting off "he's going to ruin it"?

Scopedog on Apr 20, 2012


I am legend was masterpiece. Constantine was incredible. We want another sequel, right? But what happened? This guy know exactly films hit and fans want another sequel, (pay attention: James Cameron said he want make another alien sequel after promutious, may be he lies may be he so damn busy but...but for our sakes he think about project at least, because he love his fans) Instead: This guy ruin our dreams, he fucked our wishes, he know no other person will helm any sequels(because of strange theme that only he has his power to injec it into that directing) but he doesnt respect to what his viewers love and make for his own, he direct rubbish like shit for elephant instead of Constantine/I am Legend sequel This is treachery and I won't forget it Damn you mr.selfish Lawrence You hurt our heart, you fucked our dreams, you shit our wills (also I love your works)

Ehsan Davodi on Apr 19, 2012

10 like him and you hate him...because he won't do sequels? C'mon....cut him some slack, willya?  I also liked CONSTANTINE and I AM LEGEND, but while I can see a sequel to the first....I cannot picture a sequel to the second (unless it's a prequel).  Lawrence not directing sequels to these films hasn't ruined _my_ dreams at all; I'm not about to tell the man where he should go and what he should do.

Scopedog on Apr 20, 2012


i read this in an accent

Jaydn Gosselin on Apr 21, 2012


This fits these kinds of bland adaptations with massapeal that downplay anything significant and interesting, I have not seen him have a distinct voice in his movies though they look beautiful.  Have not read the books which may have something more to them. I am hoping for a revolution in movies or atleast from the studios to bring something more to their big budget spectacles in terms of content. I am not racking on this franchise but franchises in general. Oliver stone is a favorite of mine because he did great movies had a distinct voice had something to say and did it relentlesly, you may not like it but he brought something more. have to admit his movies has not been top notch in recent time. Even Scorsese which I love has become more bland and soft in his movies though his craftsmanship is still evolving and masterful. Getting rid of anything controversial and interesting and dividing to get massapeal everywhere seems norm. When a sci fi movie like Avatar is considered upsetting because of the enviromental message then whe have hit a new low. I Like Camerons movies too but they are neither subtle or earth shattering content wise. The dumbing down of movies are rampaging and that in a world where big movies were simple from the beginning is upsetting to me. The youth have always been the force in society for new ideas new visions new ways of thinking. They have always taken things to new and exciting places even if one don`t agree with what they are saying or doing. This generation just seem to want to bypass any new and original idee for style and thats style for the sake of style. I love these kinds of movies to I am just saying it is becoming completly stagnant. Everything is sold on name, making movies around a brand name that is well know because it`s easier to get buts in the seats seems to be the only interest. Remakes reboots reimagenings that wash away anything remotly interesting atleast try to bring something more, new and different to them than just style and cgi. End rant. apologize for spelling and my dumb thoughts now so I don`t have to later

Loser on Apr 20, 2012


I agree with you But Oliver stone had political vision, I like Alexandre but I think movie had flaws Anyway I think I understand you

Ehsan Davodi on Apr 20, 2012


Eh, maybe your argument would have more weight if a director actually had that much control over the substance of a film, but – guess what? That's up to the writer. And Simon Beaufoy – an excellent screenwriter – has already finished the "Catching Fire" script.  With a strong foundation, I think Lawrence could quite easily make this a solid film.

equustel on Apr 20, 2012


As I understand it on big budget movies writers seem to have even less power to make their vision count as one writer said in tv he would have more power to make his vision. You got big budget movies having credited 10 or more writers on it with rewrite and so on. some big budget spectacles even start shooting without a script or completed script.  In those cases you need someone with a strong vision to make something of it. I am sure that Lawrernce can make a solid movie but that was not my point, and every director does not need to be an artist. The sad thing is if the studio does take in a strong director or writer with a vision let him show it if they are going to tie their hands then why even hire those guys in the first place. Fox seem to do this alot, hire intersting filmmakers and writers then meddle with the product so much they could have been better of just hire anyone.

Loser on Apr 20, 2012


It is undeniable that Lawrence is one of the best directors out there. If you take Keanu out of Constantine and look at it as a stand alone film, apart from the graphic novels and other actors, the film was visually astounding and brilliantly directed. I am Legend was rich in its impact and oozed with mood and tone that you could feel to the bone. No contest, brilliant film, brilliant directing. Yes, Water for Elephants was as commercial as it was sentimental, so it's difficult to save the man on that one except that it one has to eat and pay the bills> but in saying that it wasn't in any way an awful film if you look at it objectively. So the potential for this man to make something brilliant is there. The only restrictions would be the already established style of the film and the oppressive thumb of the companies in charge to get out what they want and not what is best for the film/series in terms of the directors vision. I hope Lawrence gets it. Maybe that is a push he would need to really commit to giving the lovers of his films what they want...more.

Jan-Lourens van der Merwe on Apr 20, 2012


I hope Lawrence get it too (not in size of cuaron in my idea) but I wish some bloody good superb director take lead of I am legend/constantine sequels. I hate this waiting dude!

Ehsan Davodi on Apr 20, 2012


"I hate this waiting dude!" Hey, I had to wait 28 years for a sequel to TRON!  How do think _I_ feel? I do hope Lawrence gets it.  And if you want to see some truly great work he did for television, try and check out the series KINGS.

Scopedog on Apr 20, 2012


No I dont like see tv series like kings istead of Constantine 2 or I am legend 2 I wait for 28years like you to watch them Otherhand torn 1 was excellent movie then I know exactly what did you say and have respect for your feeling, you can be angry or upset for that and I will sympathy with your moviegoer mind of you dude

Ehsan Davodi on Apr 20, 2012


Its not a terrible choice by any means (imagine if spike lee was making...ugh lol) But certainly not the best. Looks like we`ll have to wait & see.

Mmmmmmmmm on Apr 20, 2012


I am disappoint.

M.K. Nielsen on Apr 20, 2012


i would rather kathryn bigelow but he is an interesting choice that i think would pay off

Bcopess11 on Apr 20, 2012


Come back Gary

Sandramarr on Apr 28, 2012


Boy, sounds like a lot of great choices! "Water for Elephants" was beautiful.  It could work.

Gina Wilhelm Actress on Apr 28, 2012

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