Francis Lawrence picked as director for ‘The Hunger Games’ sequel

'I Am Legend' man set to call shots on 'Catching Fire'

After mere days of speculation it is being reported that Francis Lawrence will be offered the chance to direct the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.

Production company Lionsgate were eager to get the ball rolling on the sequel as quickly as possible, with lead actress Jennifer Lawrence needed to shoot 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: First Class sequel in January. The option in front of Lionsgate was either to wait until after she wraps on the superhero sequel or to get the film made before her early 2013 start.

Choosing the latter, the search was on to find a director as quickly as possible. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that search is already over with Lionsgate set to offer the film to Francis Lawrence later today.

Lawrence is best known for his adaptations of Richard Matheson’s apocalyptic tome I Am Legend and the graphic novel to big screen version of Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves. His most recent task was adapting the Sara Gruen novel Water For Elephants, led by Twilight actor Robert Pattison.

The extent of the success of The Hunger Games took many by surprise when it opened with the third highest figures in Box Office history. It has since stayed at the top of the US Box Office for four weeks, amassing over $500m worldwide.

With Catching Fire now one step closer to production, expect the finished version to be out before the end of 2013.