The search is finally over! Variety is reporting tonight that Lionsgate has finally settled on a director for The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. The studio has put out an offer to Francis Lawrence, who was on their original shortlist. Though he hasn’t officially accepted, it’s expected that he’ll do so shortly.
If you recall, the original shortlist featured names like Alfonso Cuarón, David Cronenberg, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. A few days later, Francis Lawrence and Bennett Miller popped up as contenders, as did Joe Cornish and Juan Antonio Bayona. Insiders claimed that Miller was the frontrunner and the only thing stopping him was Foxcatcher, a film that he’s planning to do for FOX.
Though the studio was hoping to give Miller the job, he refused to drop his passion project, forcing the studio to offer the job to Francis Lawrence. The problem with Miller was that if he did Foxcatcher, Lionsgate would have to delay the start date for Catching Fire, which is obviously something they wouldn’t want to do.
Though I don’t think that Lawrence is the best man for the job, I’m not totally against him. I Am Legend is a great film and Water For Elephants wasn’t all that bad. The only film of his that I don’t care for his Constantine, which was a bit of a dud.
That being said, with names like Cuaron and Cronenberg being floated around, as well as Duncan Jones and Tomas Alfredson, I can’t see why the studio went with Lawrence. Obviously they see something in him, or perhaps they just felt rushed and needed to find someone quickly?
Personally, I think Jones would have been a great choice for Catching Fire. I loved both Moon and Source Code and I think he has a really unique and exciting vision as a director that would have benefited The Hunger Games series. That being said, Miller would have been a great choice too, Moneyball was my favorite film of 2011 and Capote is an excellent piece of filmmaking.
Either way, should Lawrence accept the offer (which he will likely do) he’ll be the man to step behind the next film in Lionsgate’s mammoth series.
Do you think the studio made a good choice? Let us know in the comments.