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It Looks Like Francis Lawrence Is Going To Direct 'Catching Fire'; Tomas Alfredson, Joe Cornish, Duncan Jones & Cary Fukunaga Were Also Shortlisted

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by Kevin Jagernauth
April 19, 2012 9:31 PM
15 Comments
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...and then there was one. The hunt for the director to take the helm of "Catching Fire" looks to be nearing an end. Just a couple days after we reported that Francis Lawrence and Bennett Miller were in the hunt for the job, it now looks like Lionsgate has decided on their man.

THR reports that an offer has officially gone out to Lawrence to get behind the camera for the sequel to "The Hunger Games." Apparnetly both Miller and Lawrence met with the studio today, and a decision was made to go with the latter. Why? Well, Miller is gearing up "Foxcatcher" to shoot this fall -- December is now being eyed as the start date -- with Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, and while we was up for the job, moving this true crime drama to accomodate "Catching Fire," which could start as early as August, apparently wasn't possible. Add to the fact that Miller has been trying to get that movie made since he completed "Capote" and it seems schedules just weren't going to allow for it.

And frankly, Lawrence is probably better suited to be dropped in. He's done special effects movies before ("I Am Legend," "Constantine") knows this territory like the back of his hand, and can swiftly get in there especially since his calendar is wide open. But perhaps most interesting, is the version(s) of "Catching Fire" that could have been...

The trade reports that Tomas Alfredson ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"), Joe Cornish ("Attack The Block"), Duncan Jones ("Moon") and Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre," "Jane Eyre") were all also shortlisted for the job at various points, while Deadline added yesterday that Juan Antonio Bayona ("The Orphange") was also in the mix. Some of these (like Cornish) didn't make it to a meeting, but it's clear the studio was casting a pretty wide net.

So there you have it, it looks like Lawrence has this thing in the bag unless the deal doesn't work out, but it sems like it will. See it at the multiplex on November 22, 2013.

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15 Comments

  • veronica | May 11, 2012 12:59 PMReply

    they need to try and be careful about who they pick for the parts in catching fire... the books are amazing and i hope they make the movie as amazing as the book!!:)

  • sam | April 22, 2012 1:12 PMReply

    im really concerned about this movie. they are not picking the right people to play the parts like the part of finnick should not be played by zach effron .

  • L. | April 22, 2012 1:20 AMReply

    fukunaga would have been the most inspired choice. his character development is great - which is something ross decided to gloss over, & was by far the most compelling part of the books. oh well...either way this movie is going to make a whole lot of $$$.

  • Connor | April 20, 2012 9:00 AMReply

    Cary Fukunaga would have been great in the helm.

  • Anton Jacoves | April 20, 2012 4:45 AMReply

    The thing with Condon is that it's no small secret that even his "prestige" pictures are pretty mediocre. At best his movies are amiable but never breathtaking. It is ALWAYS exciting to see someone immensely talented work on a huge populist drawing board as Cuaron did with HP3 or Brad Bird with the latest Mission: Impossible. This is going to be a fine movie. But nothing special.

  • BEF | April 20, 2012 2:13 AMReply

    My dumb pun didn't work -- they're both "catch"ing ... But there does seem to be a lot of bitching, too ;)

  • BEF | April 20, 2012 2:11 AMReply

    Lighten the harsh tokes, for Lawrence and Miller, they're bitching "catch"ing on with new films! Waka Waka

  • LA2000 | April 20, 2012 1:32 AMReply

    Dear lord, these director lists are getting sillier and sillier. Why not just add Woody Allen and Jane Campion to the pile while you are at it.

    Francis Lawrence is the correct choice. He is technically competent and has already demonstrated the skills necessary to make a picture like this work. It won't be a work of cinematic genius, but he won't screw it up either.

    As we saw with Bill Condon and the "Twilight" series, you can pick someone with great pedigree, but it absolutely doesn't show up as value added in the final product. These things are cast in cement. There is absolutely no room for "personal vision." Using Alfredson or Fukunaga would have been a waste of their time and talent. And why would anyone who admires those directors want them devoting their limited time to some cookie cutter franchise picture instead of doing something they are truly inspired by. These franchise films are money machines and nothing else. They require a competent craftsman at the helm and a sharp marketing team cutting the trailer. They don't even require the same cast playing the characters (see "Spiderman" reboot). Anything above the basics is just wasted.

  • Mike | April 20, 2012 12:50 AMReply

    Ken below is probably right, but if those people were actually talking to Lionsgate? Yeah they chose the least interesting of the bunch. But he's a gun for hire & in this case they probably want someone with less of a style on his own. I'm sure he'll do fine, & prior to the release of the original if he'd been picked it would have made a lot more sense than the choice of Gary Ross.

  • jingmei | April 20, 2012 12:02 AMReply

    It really matters that who's gonna direct this film? Most of the folks on this shortlist are from UK. Have to say Duncan Jones is really cool.

  • sam | April 19, 2012 10:53 PMReply

    so they're going with the least interesting of the bunch?

  • Glass | April 19, 2012 10:47 PMReply

    So fitting. I love his music videos, and he makes competent films. It won't be a terrible movie, that's for sure.

  • Kindred Spirit | April 19, 2012 10:45 PMReply

    Fakunga would have been great. Nice job Hollywood, not even inviting a woman to your meetings. Assholes!

  • a | April 19, 2012 10:04 PMReply

    Yeah. Figures. Can't wait for Foxcatcher! :)

  • Ken | April 19, 2012 9:42 PMReply

    No director who plays a large part in developing their own movies would've wanted to take this on with such a small time frame.

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