Lionsgate likes the way that director Francis Lawrence has extended, in “Catching Fire” (November 22, 2013), the world Gary Ross created in the first installment of “Hunger Games.” (That film is heading toward the $700 million mark worldwide.) The studio has hired Lawrence (“Water for Elephants,” “I Am Legend”) to helm the two concluding films in Susanne Collins’ Katniss Everdeen series as well, “Mockingjay Part 1” (November 21, 2014) and “Part 2” (November 20, 2015).
Produced by Nina Jacobson, both films will be written by Danny Strong (“The Butler”). (“Catching Fire” scribe Simon Beaufoy is bowing out.) Star Jennifer Lawrence will return as the young rebel leader along with Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as her two rival swains. “Catching Fire” added to the ensemble Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch), Sam Clafin (Finnick), Jena Malone (Johanna) and Amanda Plummer (Wiress). James Newton Howard is scoring the film.
Here’s the official synopsis.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PARTS 1 & 2 make up the third and fourth installments of heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.