Ever since Gary Ross’ public confirmation that he is bowing out of The Hunger Games‘ sequel Catching Fire, things have been relatively quiet. We know Lionsgate wants to rush to keep their release date in tact, while they currently had a previously revealed shortlist of directors to possibly take the helm. Now, the latest report has two more directors joining the group, and they certainly are impressive grabs.
The Playlist reports that Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine, Water for Elephants) are now in contention to helm the sequel, alongside David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis), Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Miller seems like the less obvious choice, as his crime dramaFoxcatcher just signed on Mark Ruffalo to star opposite Steve Carell. If he would take on Catching Fire, that means the project would be delayed yet again, and it’s said that Miller really has put a lot into this feature. If he’d like to jeopardize that, he may take on the sequel. Truth be told, Miller has a history for stepping into other people’s shoes, as he stepped in as director when Steven Soderbergh left the largely Oscar nominated Moneyball. While it seems unlikely he’ll take the project, it’s still a possibility.
Lawrence’s work, on the other hand, really does fit well into what the series is about: action, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic. While fans didn’t exactly love I Am Legend, thanks to the ending, it’s still a well shot film with a damn great performance from Will Smith. Furthermore, his schedule is relatively open from here on out (unless, that is, there’s a big development in the “planned” I Am Legend sequel by the end of this year), so he could easily fit the production start.
The internet still seems largely in favor of Cuaron getting the job, but Lionsgate is the one that has to make a move…and fast. With production scheduled to begin early this fall, one of the reasons Gary Ross left was due to the cramped pre-production schedule. And the more the days go by, the less chance Lionsgate themselves has a chance of convincing other directors to do the job. Jennifer Lawrence has X-Men: First Class 2 in January, accomodating to the fellow studio’s schedule, but everything seems to be up in the air untilCatching Fire can lock down a director.
The highly anticipated sequel is currently set for a November 22nd, 2013 release.