Lionsgate have confirmed that Francis Lawrence has signed on to direct Catching Fire, the sequel of The Hunger Games. Catching Fire is based on the second of the hugely popular Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins that has 36 million copies in circulation in the US alone.
Francis Lawrence has a lot to live up to as The Hunger Games was a box office smash. Not only did it achieved the highest grossing opening weekend ever for any non-sequel film and the third biggest opening weekend in box office history it has grossed over $600 million at box offices worldwide.
Francis Lawrence was chosen not only for his availability, but also for his experience directing character driven drama and high stakes action films. His filmography includes I Am Legend, Constantine and Water For Elephants.
The Hunger Games Director Gary Ross bowed out of directing the sequel because of the short time scale the studio have allowed for the film to be completed. Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), has already been hired to adapt the novel into a screenplay.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will be back as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles. Production is slated to begin this Autumn and the film will be released on November 22, 2013.