Hunger Games fans, we have been saved! Movie studio Lionsgate -- probably anticipating an angry mob of District 13-types storming their headquarters -- has found a way to make sure sequel Catching Fire gets filmed after all. Hollywood insiders are reporting Francis Lawrence will be taking the helm as director.
The news comes two weeks after the studio scared us half to death by cutting ties with Games' director and screenwriter Gary Ross. It was especially scary because Ross had developed a rapport with the Games' notoriously media-shy author, Suzanne Collins. But folks, all is not lost. The choice of Lawrence -- who is not related to star Jennifer Lawrence in case you were wondering -- might just be what we really needed.
If you remember, this is the same thing that happened with Twilight. The first movie blew up the box office big time, and like Ross and Collins, director Catherine Hardwicke had developed a close relationship with the Twilight saga's author Stephenie Meyer, only to find herself out of a job when it was time to shoot the second movie. But in came Chris Weitz to direct New Moon and set records at the box office (most of which were broken ... by the next Twilight flick).
The change didn't exactly hurt Twilight. In fact, it might have helped it. And with the similar audience that the two film franchises are trying to reach, it would be smart for the people behind The Hunger Games to learn whatever it can from the other series' success.
Not to mention, in the six-degree tradition of all things Hollywood, Francis Lawrence has his own Twilight connection. In addition to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video, which won him a Grammy, Lawrence directed the feature film Water for Elephants featuring one Robert Pattinson, fresh off Twilight fame. That was a straight up romance, an experience that can't hurt Lawrence as he faces trying to portray the increasing tension of the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale that comes out in the Catching Fire storyline.
Check out what actors Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz had to say about what it takes to bring aspects of the books to the big screen:
What are you most looking forward to seeing in the sequel to The Hunger Games?
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