Have you caught fire yet?

Cronenberg?  Cuaron?  Inarritu?  Directing a sequel to The Hunger Games?  One that has a completion deadline of January 2013 and an unfinished script?  I’d really like to know what they are smoking over at Lionsgate.

Fortunately, they seem to be dialing down their expectations.  Two more names have been added to the list of potential directors for Catching Fire, the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy.  Our new tributes?  Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend).

Personally, I don’t see either of these guys taking on the project.  Miller’s Foxcatcher has been gearing up for a fall shoot and just signed Mark Ruffalo, so it sounds like Bennett is booked.  Would he consider pushing that back to shoot a surefire hit first?  Possibly, but the whole rushed aspect of the production might scare him away.

Francis Lawrence, on the other hand, doesn’t really have anything ready to go at the moment.  His Houdini project is still coming together and a re-teaming with Will Smith (whatever the project may be) seems a long way off at this point.  That said, Lawrence doesn’t seem like someone who feels the need to constantly be directing something and might not want the headache that this production might bring with it.

So where does that leave Lionsgate?  Operating under the assumption that none of the mentioned names will do the film, I think we need to start looking at all the up-and-comers and journeymen in the industry who currently have nothing scheduled to shoot this fall.  Jaume Collet-Serra, Robert Schwentke, John Singleton, F. Gary Gray, David Slade, Jon Turteltaub, Louis Leterrier, Jonathan Mostow, Marcus Nispel, etc.  Those are the kind of people that are going to start getting rabid offers to direct this in about a month or two.  That’s not to say that all of them would be bad or lesser choices.  I’m just pointing out the mere fact that both Lionsgate and the fans need to get realistic about this.

Catching Fire is scheduled for release in November 2013.  That seems like plenty of time to snag a good director until you realize that come January, Jennifer Lawrence will be off shooting Matthew Vaughn’s sequel to X-Men: First Class.  No J-Law means no shooting.  As much as they might want to be, Lionsgate can’t be picky on choosing a director unless they decide to postpone shooting…which they won’t.  If they don’t get their act together soon, we’re going to end up with a Ratner-esque choice sitting in the director’s chair.



Source | The Playlist