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Who Should Direct Catching Fire?

Who Should Direct Catching Fire?

So now it is official and Gary Ross has walked away from directing the sequel of Catching Fire because the production schedule was too tight. 

Here’s what he said:

As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

Funny, that seems to be pretty close to what Catherine Hardwicke said when she broke up with Summit after Twilight.  Nobody has made the claim that he was “difficult” or “irrational” which is what Hardwicke was called after she wanted more time for the Twilight sequel.  What’s so interesting is that Hardwicke later said that she had the right of first refusal in her contract so she couldn’t be fired, but that didn’t stop all the nasty press.

The studio needs to get Catching Fire started — and soon — because Jennifer Lawrence is shooting the X-Men sequel in January. 

Since this is going to be approx a $100 million budgeted film, I think that getting a female director hired to helm it will be hard since, of course, Hollywood still thinks that women can’t direct big budget films.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream, so let’s take a moment to ponder the female directors we would like to see directing Catching Fire.  My first choice would be Patty Jenkins who almost directed Thor 2.

Other ideas?

Gary Ross Decides NOT To Direct ‘Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire’: Lionsgate Shocked (Deadline)

Citing Scheduling Constraints, Gary Ross Officially Not Directing Hunger Games Sequel (Movieline)

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I like the idea of Angelina! I am actually looking forward to how she will direct an action film. And are the sequels really more horror than action/drama (didn't read them)? Of course, Kathryn would do a good job.

And for a name that hasn't been mentioned: what about Karyn Kusama? Between Girlfight, Aeon Flux, and Jennifer's Body, she's done work that covers all the possible genres. And I thought Seyfried and Fox enjoyed working with her (being younger actors). In fact, I wish Karyn would just get more work period; but this franchise seems like a good fit for her.


Great discussion! I didn't realize how similar Ree (Winter's Bone) and Katniss (HG) experiences were until I saw both movies. A huge difference between the films were the approaches/look. Yes, they deal with distinct subject matters, but HG has so much Hollywood sheen; e.g., the coal miners have the correct look, with not one lock of hair out of place.

So–Debra Granik is an obvious one because of the Jennifer Lawrence connection. Kimberly Peirce? Kathryn Bigelow is good for the sci-fi/action angle. Hell, how about Julie Taymor for a full-on stylized visual feast/feast?


On reflection, I'm even more convinced that Jane Campion's the right choice. Her depictions of brutal violence in The Piano and her early Australian films would fit the horror of the two sequels really well.

J. McM

Mimi Leder


I think Gary Ross's getting criticism on money though, the fact that he wanted more than 3mil$ or something like that. And I don't think Ross and Hardwicke should be compared nor The Hunger Games and Twilight. There's nothing the same about it other than it's popular novels. The Hunger Games much much better…

Nevertheless, I think Patty Jenkins would be a great great choice. I'd love to see Bieglow's take on the second and the last book; however she might be focused on her new film now. Coppola's busy with her new film I think…How about? Lynne Ramsey? or Debra Granik (Winter's Bone).

I think it'd be amazing if Mallick, Jackson, Bieglow, or Aronofsky would do it but they're already lined up with their own projects.


Ooh, I like that Jane Campion suggestion! Or Sofia Coppola

Elle Kamihira

I think Angelina Jolie could be great. Phyllida Lloyd?

Mari Ana

I also nominate Kathryn Bigelow. Oscar-winning director, well-versed in action, sci-fi, and story.

bonnie Weiss


Chris Lombardi

Lynne Ramsay, who just showed us she directs young people well and isn't afraid of violence.

Marti Noxon and Ellen Pressman, two in Joss Whedon's stable. (Joss ALMOST counts as a woman…). BOTH were involved with Buffy, so similar to what I just said about Ramsay.

Patricia Rozema.

Agnieska Holland. And Sarah Polley, just because.

Elodie Keene, another Whedon associate who's also done THE WIRE.

Jamie Babbit, who's done features and is currently working on SMASH and REVENGE.

This list generated with the help of genius geek and aspiring screenwriter Rachel Rawlings, who persuaded me to stay with the books and held my hand during We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Bonnie Weiss

Dr. Valerie Weiss should direct Catching Fire. Her film LOSING CONTROL now is 7 cities is busting the box offices. Great style, great with actors. They love her!!!


I nominate Kathryn Bigelow. Or for a truly left-field choice, give it to Jane Campion!

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