Last week there was news that Lionsgate had come up with a shortlist of 8 directors to take on The Hunger Games sequel: Catching Fire. The 3 names made public were Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and David Cronenberg. Today, 2 more names have been revealed, Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence.
Lionsgate really does want interesting filmmakers to take the helm on the franchise and Lawrence and Miller would each be very good replacements for Ross. Miller has just come off Moneyball, a project which was in the pits following Steven Soderbergh‘s firing. Then Miller and Aaron Sorkin came in to rescue the project and guided the film to critical acclaim and 6 Oscar nominations.
He is an intelligent filmmaker but appears to be very picky with what he chooses, Catching Fire doesn’t seem to be the obvious fit for him and he is currently prepping a dream project called Foxcatcher, shaping up for a fall shoot which would clash with the Catching Fire schedule. Foxcatcher is a film he has apparently been working on since Capote.
Francis Lawrence however is a more likely prospect. His last film was Water for Elephants, an underrated, beautiful looking film which finally proved to all of us that Robert Pattinson might be able to carry a film of dramatic weight. It also proved that Lawrence could make an engaging, character driven drama. Prior to that Lawrence directed the Will Smith starrer I Am Legend which sets up a very effective first hour before completely blowing it.
His slate is also clean for the next few months so his schedule will be very appealing to the studio. If I was a Lionsgate executive I’d be doing everything I could to get Cuaron on board but Lawrence would be a good second choice.
Personally, I’d go with Steven Soderbergh, who shot the second unit on The Hunger Games and can make really great Hollywood action movies, this year’s Haywire was a perfect example of this.
Catching Fire is currently set for a fall start date aiming for a November release next year. What do you think? Who do you think should replace Ross?
Source: The Playlist