After losing Gary Ross, Lionsgate put a bunch of names into a big bowl and finally pulled one out. Turns out, they can’t get enough of people named Lawrence.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, they’ve chosen Francis Lawrence – the director behind I Am Legend, Water for Elephants and Constantine – to take the reigns on the massively successful franchise. He beat out Bennett Miller (Moneyball) as well as a wishlist that included Duncan Jones, Tomas Alfredson and exactly zero women. The reason Lawrence won out seems to be in his abilities as much as it is his availability. His main contender, Miller, is already knee-deep in preparations for Foxcatcher, the filming of which would be right in the middle of Catching Fire‘s attempt to be finished in time to release Jennifer Lawrence back into the X-Men wilds.
As for the prospect of Lawrence handling the material? Who knows. Nothing in Ross’s resume suggested he was the right choice for Hunger Games, and if you mash up Water for Elephants (with its rusty, sepia-tone-emulating style and romance) and I Am Legend (with its violence and poorly CGI-ed monsters), you’d end up with something living next door to the Hunger universe. Right? Now to complete the triumvirate, they need to hire Martin Lawrence. There’s gotta be a role for him.