Bennett Miller, Francis Lawrence in contention to direct The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

CATCHING FIRE is the second installment in the HUNGER GAMES series.As if the unexpectedly enormous success of the first film in the Hunger Games franchise wasn’t enough, Lionsgate is keeping its Katniss publicity machine in full-gear, spilling to The Playlist that Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine) are in contention to direct the sequel, Catching Fire.

Bennett Miller

Miller and Lawrence join the shortlist leaked last week, which included David Cronenberg, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón. The ultimate victor will have the opportunity to fill the shoes of Hunger Games director Gary Ross, who chose not to direct Catching Fire due to its tight shooting schedule. Miller and Lawrence seem to “fit” into the Ross vision of the franchise more than the previously announced names because, like Ross, they are known for their competent craftsmanship. As The Playlist notes, Miller also has a reputation for acclimating to projects quickly, as he took over Moneyball from Steven Soderbergh on a moment’s notice.

Francis Lawrence

Cronenberg, Iñárritu, and Cuarón, on the other hand, may carry more artistic pedigree, but their status as auteurs makes them potentially risky choices because they could deviate from author Suzanne Collins’ distinct vision, at the behest of fans. Cuaron’s entry in the Harry Potter franchise, The Prisoner of Azkaban, won raves from critics but still receives criticism from certain Potter devotees because it showcased a much different world from the first two films.

The clock is ticking for Lionsgate, but it’s possible we’ll hear a dozen more names by the time they make their decision. Miller and Lawrence are clearly one step closer to having the keys to Katniss’ castle, but nothing’s certain in Hollywood until the contracts are signed.

Source: The Playlist