The New York Times reports that filmmaker Francis Lawrence has come on board as the director for the next installment of The Hunger Games movie series, Catching Fire. Lawrence started off his Hollywood career directing music videos. He has since progressed on to movies including literary adaptations such as Constantine (2005) and Water for Elephants (2011).
Here’s more from the article: “Mr. Lawrence said in a statement that he ‘fell in love with the characters’ of Ms. Collins’s novels, as well as ‘the themes and the world she created,’ adding that ‘this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way.’” MTV reports that star actors Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson feel sad that Gary Ross did not sign up to direct the sequel film. However, they both look forward to working with Lawrence.
Lawrence is not the only new addition to The Hunger Games movie crew. Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who adapted Slumdog Millionaire (2008), penned the first draft of the script for Catching Fire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate is negotiating with Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Little Miss Sunshine (2006), to polish Beaufoy’s draft.
Back in March, Scholastic announced that there are more than 36.5 million copies of Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games trilogy books in-print within the United States. To date, The Hunger Games film has grossed more than $372 million at the box office.