‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ hires director Francis Lawrence

The conclusion to 'The Hunger Games' will be spread over two movies, due in 2014 and 2015

Franchise finale The Hunger Games: Mockingjay now has a director.

The two-part conclusion to The Hunger Games saga will be helmed by Francis Lawrence, who is currently shooting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second film in the series. This means that Lawrence will have directed three of the four Katniss movies, after Gary Ross called the shots on this year’s first instalment The Hunger Games.

Last month (October 2012), Emmy winner Danny Strong was hired to write the screenplays for the final two Hunger Games movies. Part one of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is scheduled for release in November 2014, with part two to follow in November 2015. In the meantime, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due to hit cinemas in November 2013.

Lawrence, who previously directed Water For Elephants and I Am Legend, began shooting Catching Fire this September. Jennifer Lawrence is reprising her role as heroine Katniss, joined by returning castmates Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson. Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has joined the sequel in a key role as Head Gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee.

The Hunger Games – the first movie in the four-part series – was released this March and grossed over $677m (£432m) worldwide. The films are based on a trilogy of bestselling novels by author Suzanne Collins.