While The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is currently in production in North Carolina, Lionsgate has announced the director who will take up the flame of directing the third and fourth installments in the widely popular young adult film adaptation. Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence will helm both The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One and Part Two.
According to Collider.com, Francis Lawrence took the job as director of the sequel, Catching Fire, when The Hunger Games director Gary Ross dropped out of the production due to an insufficient time table created by Lionsgate for the release of the sequel film. He also left the project because he wanted more money to direct the next film. There were rumors that the same might happen to Lawrence for the third and fourth installments, but it looks like Lawrence is up to the challenge to finish out the Hunger Games series.
At the moment, it’s unclear if Lawrence will receive a hefty pay bump to take on Mockingjay Part One and Part Two, but it seemslikely. The star of the series, Jennifer Lawrence (no relation), received a giant payday to reprise her role as heroine Katniss Everdeen. Recently, Emmy Award winning screenwriter Danny Strong was tapped to adapt the Mockingjay novel into a screenplay. Strong was chosen to write the third and fourth installments because of his track record with politically charged melodramas including Recount and Game Change for HBO.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay will find Katniss Everdeen separated from Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark. She tries to get back to them as a rebellion forms and Panem is at the brink of a civil war. Actors Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson will return.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit theaters everywhere on November 22, 2013. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One will open on November 21, 2014 and Part Two will open one year later, on November 20, 2015.