Lionsgate is really working hard to keep The Hunger Games series relevant and in the pop culture zeitgeist. The last installment in The Hunger Games series is Mockingjay, which the studio plans to split into two parts (like Harry Potter 7 and Twilight 4). Although production hasn’t even started for the series’ second installment Catching Fire, the studio has started to vet directors for Mockingjay.
By announcing the release dates for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay movies, Lionsgate has made it difficult to get director Francis Lawrence to do a quick turnaround for the next films. The new Lionsgate studio heads, Summit’s Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger (Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment at the beginning of 2012), producers Nina Jacobson and author Suzanne Collins are currently looking for a new director to helm this project. It might not even be the same director doing both parts of Mockingjay.
When The Hunger Games were released earlier this year, it was unclear if director Gary Ross would be back in the director’s chair for the sequel. The film needed a director and booted Ross out and placed director Francis Lawrence in. But before Lionsgate settled on Lawrence, there were rumors that Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and David Cronenberg might helm the Catching Fire project.
So will the shortlist of directors of the Mockingjay movies have these directors on it? Most likely not, these filmmakers would want to go at their own pace in making a movie rather than trying to meet a quick release date. Directors like DJ Caruso and Jake Kasden would be more inclined to direct the Mockingjay movies because of their experience in getting a movie made on time.
The Hunger Games series will have the next three Thanksgiving holiday weekends to celebrate their box office success. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be released on November 22nd 2013. Part one of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay will be released on November 21st 2014 and part two will be released on November 20th 2015.