Lionsgate Blows It, Offers HUNGER GAMES Sequel CATCHING FIRE To Francis Lawrence
The Hunger Games has made $340 million in the last four weeks. And it's a really good movie as well. This is the rarest combination in Hollywood - a wildly successful movie that is actually good. Things didn't work out with director Gary Ross for the sequel, which is too bad, but Lionsgate had the opportunity to find a truly talented director to continue the series with the second book in the trilogy, Catching Fire.
They've offered the job to Francis Lawrence. Yes, the director of Constantine and I Am Legend. The guy who is like the poster child for anonymous, mediocre movies.
This is a terrible sign. Even if Lawrence doesn't take the job it's a terrible sign. It means that Lionsgate isn't taking this property seriously. The Hunger Games will easily make 400 million domestic on a $78 million budget. That's the kind of money that allows you to make a wise decision for the sequel, to find a strong, excellent director who can bring Catching Fire to the next level, not the hack who happens to be available when Jennifer Lawrence is available*.
We can argue about the quality of the remaining two books in the series (I haven't read them), but Lionsgate should be getting a director who can improve upon the books, not a point and shooter who will just get it all on tape. This series could have been something amazing. Now it has a chance at being something inoffensive, maybe.
* Although I would forgive it all if they chose Francise Lawrence only because he has the same name as their star. You can't argue with that logic.