(Written for Lost In The Multiplex)
Francis Lawrence has received an official offer from Lionsgate this afternoon as their first choice to direct The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.
It’s been a long search that has caused much discussion over the past month, but sources have confirmed that Lawrence received the offer to take over the directorial chair this afternoon.
Replacing Gary Ross who directed the hugely successful first instalment, The Hunger Games, which was released last month, the films are based on a trilogy of novels written by Suzanne Collins.
The hunt for a director has been of huge interest to fans of the franchise, which, remaining at the top of the box office in its fourth week, has now made over $335M worldwide.
Lawrence, director of I Am Legend and Water for Elephants, met with Lionsgate earlier in the day, but he was the studios first choice over Moneyball director Bennett Miller simply because of his open schedule.
If Lawrence accepts the studio’s offer, he will spend the next couple of months working on a script that has already been adapted by Simon Beaufoy, unless they hire a set of new writers for that job, before the film goes into production in August.
Set to be released on 22nd November 2013, the original cast from the first instalment have all been confirmed to reprise their roles, but the film will need to begin shooting straight away so that lead actress Jennifer Lawrence can focus on filming the sequel to X-Men: First Class in late January.