When Gary Ross surprised many by exiting “The Hunger Games” franchise, Lionsgate was caught a bit adrift and began an intensive search to find a replacement. Francis Lawrence eventually nabbed the gig after a couple of harried weeks of rumor and speculation, and it seems everyone involved is very happy he’s on board. Not only is he helming the currently shooting “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” it looks like he’s going to see this series through right to the end.
Collider is reporting the Lawrence has signed on to direct both parts of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” as well. For the studio and fans, it’s probably a relief to have a singular voice guide the rest of the series, and from a purely logistical standpoint, it likely would’ve been a small nightmare to keep switching out directors for the follow-ups, which are due each year through 2015. Now, the actors will have a constant guide to work with through the movie, and the franchise as a whole can only benefit from someone who will be with the world and the story until the conclusion.
As for Lawrence, as far as regular paychecks go, you could do far worse. But it looks like any other projects he has brewing (he has been linked in the past year or so to a Houdini movie and a WWII survival tale) will have to go on hold unless he pulls a Joss Whedon and cranks out a tiny indie between pictures.
So superfans…is this good or bad? Let us know. ‘Catching Fire’ arrives on November 22, 2013, following by ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’ on November 21, 2014 and ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’ on November 20, 2015.