When I met up with the Hunger Games cast back in March, the main thing I took away (aside from a locket of Jennifer Lawrence’s hair) was the profound respect the cast had for director Gary Ross. A lot of time that’s just actor wank, cast and crew will say anything to help sell a picture*. But it wasn’t hard to sense their genuine admiration for Ross, and even if his guiding hand didn’t work movie magic with the final product he at least made an impression with the kids. So it’ll be interesting to see how the cast enjoys working with Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, no relation to Jennifer), as THR‘s reporting that Lionsgate is spreading eagle and offering him a taste of their Catching Fire.
That doesn’t mean Lawrence has accepted yet, but I think it’s a fair assumption that he will. Lionsgate surely wanted a director who wouldn’t rock the boat. Lawrence comes off to me as a decent working director who hasn’t shown anything remarkable yet (aside from Jennifer Lopez: The Reel Me). His I Am Legend was a bit of a mess, but just competent enough to not be a total loss. If Lawrence is able to get a lock on the script I doubt fans of the first film will notice much change at all. But that’s admittedly a pretty big “if” when your release date is Novemeber 22, 2013.
*I once spoke to an actress who said she enjoyed working with Tom Sizemore. Last year.