Now that Gary Ross is officially not returning to direct the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, Lionsgate are now on the hunt for a new director, quick! The plan is to get the sequel filming by August, and with the films star Jennifer Lawrence having a tight schedule due to filming the X-Men: First Class sequel in January, time is running out.
This week the L.A Times released a short list of directors being considered to direct the sequel, and the names are very interesting indeed. First up is David Cronenberg, a director who has never made a commercially aimed film such as this, and in my personal opinion, would make an excellent choice. I have not read the books, but people I know who have read them say the second story is incredibly dark and intense, and that is right up Cronenberg’s street.
Second on the list is Alfonso Cuaran, the man behind such classics as Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, again an excellent choice. With Harry Potter already in his back catalogue, Cuaran at least has the experience of directing a big budget film aimed at a mass market, but which also needed to be faithful to the source material.
Finally, Alejandro Gonzalez, director of such stunning films as Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful, is another name on the list. As with the previous two directors, Gonzalez favours harsh, intense films which, again, do not exactly appeal to a mass audience, but boy the guy has incredible skill.
A bizarre choice of names then, especially for a film which, in all honesty, is aimed at a more teen audience. Could this be a good sign that Lionsgate want to get the next film right, and up the anti a bit a look for a more adult aimed movie? Whoever is chosen, The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins is working very closely with Lionsgate on the sequel, and she is expected to give her approval once a director has been chosen.
Much more on this as it develops.
By Matt Wavish