Big news on the Hunger Games front: Director Francis Lawrence, who was hired to replace Gary Ross on Catching Fire, has been told he’ll direct the two-part adaptation of Mockingjay for Lionsgate, Collider reports.
Guess that means the studio is very happy with Lawrence’s work on the sequel, which currently is in production as it heads toward a Nov. 22, 2013 release date.
As most of you will recall, original Hunger Games director Ross passed on the opportunity to stay with the franchise, arguing that the pre-announced release dates didn’t give him enough time to deliver on the vision he preferred. Lawrence, however, seems to have settled right in to Katniss Everdeen’s environment, and now will be able to put his creative stamp on the entire series.
Prior to helming a Hunger Games movie, Lawrence turned heads with Will Smith’s post-apocalyptic I Am Legend, and directed Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants.
The last Hunger Games novel will be broken into two parts (a la the Harry Potter and Twilight movies). As of right now, Lawrence will be tasked with getting Mockingjay: Part One into theaters on Nov. 21, 2014, followed by Mockingjay: Part Two on Nov. 20, 2015.
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