Francis Lawrence gets 'Catching Fire' offer
Lawrence, director of "I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants."
spokeswoman for Lionsgate confirmed the offer but added that the studio
has not closed the directing deal. Lionsgate is planning to shoot the
movie starting in the late summer for a Nov. 22, 2013 release date.
comes 10 days after "The Hunger Games" director Gary Ross ankled the
sequel, citing a "fixed and tight production schedule" as his key reason
Fox is planning to start its "X-Men: First Class"
sequel in January with "Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence -- no
relation to Francis Lawrence -- committed to the superhero pic.
Collins' "Catching Fire" story features a special edition of the Hunger
Games every quarter-century in which tributes are "reaped" from the
victors of past games. Among the key new characters is Finnick, a
combatant in the second book who leads a revolt against the Capitol, and
the head Gamemaker in the second book who turns out to be working
stealthily for the uprising.
Lawrence has a clear late-summer
schedule and can immediately begin working with "Slumdog Millionaire"
screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who's still crafting the "Fire" script.