Update 4/19 @ 9 PM, ET: Francis Lawrence has been selected as the director of Catching Fire. His credits include I Am Legend, Constantine, and Water for Elephants, and before that he directed music videos for some big name pop stars. Sounds like a good choice, but it apparently was not Lionsgate’s first. The studio would have preferred Bennett Miller, but he wanted the start date to be pushed back a tad which would enable him to complete Foxcatcher. It is interesting things got this far with Miller because if they were flexible, they would have stayed with Gary Ross.
Original: Stay tuned for an announcement relatively soon considering the director of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games franchise moving forward. The field has been reportedly narrowed down to two candidates, and the studio is expected to make an announcement before the end of the week as to which one will take charge of Catching Fire.
Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence are apparently the options. The former of which is a much sexier choice from a critical standpoint considering his work on Moneyball and Capote, but many are quick to point out that it would mean putting Foxcatcher on hold as Catching Fire is set to shoot in the fall and a script is yet to exist. As for Francis Lawrence, he directed both I Am Legend and Water for Elephants although it is strongly suspected that his I Am Legend credit will be the one responsible for his landing of the gig should Lionsgate choose him.
For those not in the know, the studio lost its franchise director Gary Ross just weeks ago as they refused to budge on the November 2013 release date in order to accommodate his desire for more production time. It was not that things are starting in the fall that killed negotiations. It was rather the fact that Fox has dibs on Jennifer Lawrence, and they were set to claim her for the X-Men: First Class sequel that starts production in January which will squeeze Catching Fire’s production time.