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Hypable

Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend and Water for Elephants) has been chosen by Lionsgate to helm Catching Fire.

After an exhaustive search over the past few weeks that included names such as Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg, Tomas Alfredson, and Duncan Jones (among others), Lionsgate recently had narrowed the list down to Lawrence and Moneyball director Bennett Miller.

A reliable source confirmed to Hypable that the offer to Lawrence was made by Lionsgate today.

As this is still very much in negotiations right now, we don’t expect an official announcement to be made today. We’ll be sure to let you know when it happens.

Are you happy with Lionsgate’s choice? Like Catching Fire, I Am Legend and Water for Elephants were both based on books themselves.

In a poll we conducted earlier today on the site, 57% chose Lawrence over other contender Bennett Miller.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news.

  • Peeta Mellark

    I have faith in you Lionsgate, don’t let me or any HG fans down.

    • Vantage

      And that’s coming from Peeta Mellark, Lions Gate!

  • Jason

    He looks like an appropriate choice. Not of the caliber of Tomas Alfredson, Alfonso Cuaron, or Stephen Daldry, but I think he’ll create the best feel for the next movie.

  • http://twitter.com/SECM07 S. E. Matthews

    Well the direction of I Am Legend was pretty freaking awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/Thomassholan Thomas Sholan

    I don’t really have an opinion about this. I’ll reserve judgement until I see what he does with the film. I didn’t really know anything about any of the HP directors before they directed their entries in the series so we’ll just have to see how it goes.

  • http://twitter.com/ballcommarack kyleellison13

    I was hoping Alfonso Cuaron would get the gig.

  • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

    Certainly not on the level of Cuaron but I enjoyed 2 out of 3 of his films, I’m worried he does too many music videos though … fingers crossed he’ll kill the shaky cam. 

  • Efonseca57

    ohh god……well let’s see if he can carry on the franchise.I won’t judge until i see a trailer.But i’m still a bit skeptical.I saw I Am Legend and I wasn’t too impressed…. 

  • RussellTurner

    SO GLAD that it was NOT Alfonso Cuaron (He ruined POA). I really don’t think it would be hard to adapt Catching Fire, so Francis will probably do a good job. 

    • http://www.twitter.com/matsemann08 Matsemann08

      Wait wait wait?
      Was PoA a bad Potter film?
      It has 26% on “Which ‘Harry Potter’ film is your favorite?” only behind DH Part 2 on Hypable’s poll.

      • Gary65

        Yes and you’re all crazy

        • http://www.twitter.com/matsemann08 Matsemann08

          ^_^

        • moonshoespotter1712

          Crazy for not sharing your opinion? Right.

          • Gary65

            Crazy for thinking that PoA is the best Potter movie.

      • HannahG533

        I think people view it as bad because it’s just so different from the others. I think it’s a good film, but it does kind of interrupt the flow of the series.  That does say a lot about Cuaron though.  He wasn’t willing to bend his vision to convention.

      • RussellTurner

        not every single HP fan goes on hypable. 

    • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

      Nobody can give me a clear reason why Cuaron ruined POA …  

      would love to hear the reasoning. 

      • Molly

        I think it’s just that he changed a lot of things that really did not need to be changed. It’s understandable that when a book translates to film not everything will make it to the screen, and that’s all right when the changes improve on what there was originally or help the film to flow. But Cuaron took A LOT of liberties with plot and with the entire world of Harry Potter. Instead of trying to make the film translate well with the previous two, he created an entirely different looking and working world. And he did it very creatively, it’s just that a lot of fans didn’t appreciate what he did with it and thought he took too many creative liberties .

        • http://www.facebook.com/heather.smith07 Heather Smith

          But every movie changed things a lot that didn’t really need to be changed. And Alfonso made the films look so much better, stylistically. PoA had a great flow to it, and was actually a FILM, not just a book adaptation. It looked great, it looked exciting, the characters looked perfect, and it made the transition from childish to teenagers, and made the films a little more edgy where Columbus played it safe sometimes. Cuaron so helped the movies move forward, and seemed to really understand the characters and the spirit of the book. 

          • RussellTurner

            Yes he did… without the plot 

        • Alcyone

           Amen. I hated POA too and these are my exact reasons. With POA, suddenly the movies didn’t feel like adaptations of my favorite books anymore. It was something completely foreign. Looked wrong, felt wrong, directed wrong.

          • RussellTurner

            Thank you! It was so corny.. 

      • Kate

        POA, while one of my favorite books, is likely my least favorite ‘Potter’ film.  I think he added a lot of unnecessary, while probably “pretty” to some, moments.  I almost find all the pointless things in it laughable, and I think it has the most ‘cringe-worthy’ moments of the films.

      • Chellearia

        My favorite parts of the book series were the Marauders, and the plots concerning them were lackluster or non-existent due to PoA’s handling of that part of the story. I would make me worry what Cuaron would do to or cut from CF.

      • RussellTurner

        He totally ruined the story line of POA. The Marauders basically didnt exist and then the shrunken heads? WTF?! 

        • WillowBlood

          JKR said she wished she’d have thought of the shrunken heads, just saying. 

          • RussellTurner

            She was probably just being nice in that interview on the dvd. I’m glad she didnt though. 

          • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

            no she sounded like she genuinely wished she’d thought of it. J.K is the type to just say things to be nice

        • Johnny18

          I agree with you Russell, the lack of Marauders was a big blow which was why there was little to no attachment to James Potter whatsoever in the later films. Also I’m sorry but the ending with Harry basically saying yahoo on his broom… cringe worthy 

          • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

            I’m sorry but were the Marauders super important to Harry’s story? I mean sure it was a group his father was in but this wasn’t his fathers story – this was Harry’s story. They had the map in the movie and its not like Jo didn’t have an influence on the script which I believe has more influence on what was in / not in than Curaon in this case . 

            The end was a little weird I’ll agree but overall I thought it is still the most distinct looking film. 

          • Johnny18

            Oh visually, cannot argue it was my favourite but from how much it stuck to the book not so great. My friend who never read the books was very confused during the last film as to why it seemed there was far more of a connection with Lily and Snape as opposed to her husband James who was just standing there… They developed Lily and it wasn’t her story either, I don’t see why not James that’s all. Mind you I also partially blame it on the lack of Snape’s worst memory in OTP but let’s not go there lol

      • 1avsfan

        Agreed, I thought the worst one was Goblet of Fire, I had huge expectations because it was my favorite book. Not really blaming Newell though. Anyway Cuaron did a fine job, but I’m glad Lawrence got this one.

      • Lucia

        I’ve just posted a response to Jason above, feel free to read my opinion on the matter.

    • grapes9h5

      I still dont get any one who would dare speak negatively about Alfonso Cuaron. He “ruined POA”????? Really???? Is that why it has one of the highest RT percentages on any of the films and is often voted as the favorite of the whole franchise in polls???

      • RussellTurner

        RT doesn’t rate movies on how well they are adapted. Film wise, yes it is a great film. As an adaption? TERRIBLE. 

        • http://jimmypautz.com Jimmy Pautz

           I agree. POA was my favorite book and Alfonso didn’t really “get” the book.  He was more focused on visuals and shots.

          • http://www.facebook.com/heather.smith07 Heather Smith

            I thought he actually understood the book well, just because you don’t translate the entire book to the screen doesn’t mean he understood it. He understood the spirit of the book, and the tone. He also understood the characters and what the book was trying to saying, and all of that came across on screen. 

            Just because he didn’t put every single word of the book into the movie, or changed things around doesn’t mean he didn’t understand it. 

          • http://jimmypautz.com Jimmy Pautz

             There is where we disagree.  I didn’t think the tone/spirit of the book was portrayed on the screen at all.

          • RussellTurner

            trust me, i understand that not every word can be in the book. But when you have pointless scenes in the movie and major parts are the book are left out, thats where you go wrong. 

          • Lucia

            I completely agree. I felt he worried more about making a pretty film than making a HP film that is part of a franchise and a continuing storyline. It didn’t match or flow or seem to do much else but be beautiful.

        • moonshoespotter1712

          well, can they not be judged as separate things? They ARE two different mediums, and some fans don’t understand that.

      • gcw07

         Cuaron is a fine director and if you have never read a single one of the books then yeah the movie seems fine. For those that read the book though he completely changed things that were not needed. Besides changing the plot and the characters and the world itself, yeah it was fine. That is why I don’t think any Catching Fire fans would have really been happy with it if he had done the adaption. He likes to put his spin on things way too much and the world the stories created would not have been the same.

        • Kate

          I  blame the screenwriter for that, not Alfonso.

          • RussellTurner

            He was the director.. he has a say in the matter

        • CliveRogan

           To be honest I think the world of The Hunger Games film was a little limp.  District 11 didn’t look that bad, and the Capitol wasn’t much of an exaggeration of what’s around now.  It would take a director like Cuaron to make it the dank and depressing world that it actually is.  Though I do think it’s too late now and that they should stick to the aesthetic they’ve got.

          • gcw07

            See I always saw the Capitol the exact way it was depicted in the movie. That it was basically on par with the technology of today. Sure they had some advanced things like the airships, but overall they had not advanced much beyond that and even some of those advances had been lost upon them during the war.

            Really hard to say what District 11 looked like. I mean we saw clips of it for maybe 30 seconds to a minute while the uprising was starting in the district.

          • CliveRogan

            I actually meant District 12, but District 11 did look almost identical which it probably shouldn’t have.

            I pictured the Capitol like the nicer areas of the world in Brazil which is quite like the film, I meant the residents really who I pictured more like Jocelyn Wildenstein styled like they’re in the Fifth Element. Whereas they were generally normal looking with a few colorful wigs here and there.

    • Jason

      Really? I thought it was the best one? It had the best visual artistry and was the first film to be dark AND whimsical, which I thought was what made the series so popular in the first place. He was also the first director to really get the child leads to ACT. 

      • Lucia

        Daniel Radcliffe pretending to cry, breathing heavily and shouting ‘he was their friend’ aggressively is definitely not what I’d call acting – by far his worst moment of the entire series.But that aside, I personally like PoA the least for a few reasons: -He changed the visual style from the first 2 too much for it to flow between films – most of the others transition well, but I felt he cared more about making a pretty film than a HP film. It really was beautifully done, but it didn’t feel right for me.-He cut a lot of backstory and side plots that were both entertaining and extremely relevent to the story. Now, before you say anything, I’m a filmmaker myself so I completely understand the necessity to cut things from book to film, but then what excuse does he have for adding in elements that bring nothing to the film? Example – shrunken heads. I tolerated the choir song, but there really was a lot of liberty taken by the man – I feel too much.-He changed a lot of stuff for no good reason at all, such as removing their uniforms altogether in a bunch of scenes. At no other point in the series are they wandering around Hogwarts as students without a uniform on, so why change it? Same thing with the layout of the grounds – if it was already established and designed before with consent from Jo, why change it for the sake of you liking it more? Generally I think the thing that bugs me the most is that I felt he didn’t view it as a franchise or continuing story at all. He did whatever he wanted to do, changed what he liked and didn’t care that new or casual viewers wouldn’t understand the transition. A large majority of my friends that aren’t fans genuinely didn’t understand why Hogwarts was different and why they weren’t in uniform, or how Remus and Sirius and Peter knew each other, or why the Marauders Map was even relevent in the first place.

        • RussellTurner

          THANK YOU! and then you have the random scene with the cleaning lady. 

      • yui

        Prisoner of azkaban… is the movie 
        1. on which i commented after watching on the cinema that ‘Dumbledore was so gay’ In This scene: When they reached the infirmary, Harry (with Hermione) said “We did it!” then Dumbledore said, “Did what? Good night~~ ” Then, Jo announced Albus is gay 3 years later.
        2. where they first had hagrid’s hut filled with animals. true to a creature who loves animals. such detail.
        3. where they first had that bridge, where harry and lupin talked about lupin’s younger years, in which he mentioned james and lily. and that bridge became the setting for many moments on the following movies.I love PoA. It is my most favorite movie. and i really wished Cuaron directed CF. oh well….

    • GirlWhoCriedWhenSiriusDied

       I think that there should be a sole news piece on POA. Love it, hate it, and whatever else because the comments on it on Hypable lately have been astronomical.

  • Stagegirl12

    He created a very good adaptation of Water for Elephants so I am hopeful.

  • Julie L

    Out of all of the options presented, he was by far my favorite! I really hope he accepts!!!! I think he can do just as good of a job as Gary Ross (even though i wish Gary was still on board, but oh well)

  • EmHof

    He’s got a good background for action and hopefully the script will be reworked so that it does justice to the story, as well as improves on the weaker points of the Ross installment, while playing off the awesome world he created. I’m optimistic and have faith in Nina and Lionsgate. 

  • 7Starrchasers

    I knew it, he was the more obvious choice..Miller was too busy to do it…..Im not judging until I see a trailer!

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.smith07 Heather Smith

    Eh, not thrilled, not bummed. I’d have rather seen Miller and Cuaron, and Inarritu do it (though I haven’t seen his films), but I’m just so-so about this. Judgement will be reserved for when I see the trailer. I’m still kind of crossing my fingers that Miller will end up taking it, but I have no opinion really about Lawrence taking this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-Whelen/514317641 Rachel Whelen

    He has some big shoes to fill. I hope he does well(fingers crossed).

    • http://twitter.com/AdrianaMaroc Adriana Maroc

      same here!

  • Eric Knight

    This is actually the one person “in the running” who I thought could do a decent job of adapting Catching Fire. I’m still sad that Ross is out, but hopefully this guy will rid the franchise of the dread shaky camera and be able to bring out an even better performance from Jennifer (he’s got his work cut out for him, with the tight schedule they’re on—but I was impressed with the acting in both Water for Elephants and I Am Legend, which he must’ve had something to do with).

    I’ll hold off on saying anything about Cuaron, because opinions  on him are so split. It would seem half of the HP fans love him, and half of you hate him!

  • Chellearia

    Hopefully there are enough mechanisms in place from HG that he is able to work easily into CF without having to cut anything. 
    Here’s crossing our fingers to his artistic vision.

  • Just Sayin

    The director didn’t make the money. The Franchise did. I had never heard of the director of the first one, so I highly doubt that was what drew the fans to the first one.  All that’s going to happen is people will compare his movie to the first one. it’s like the Harry Potter and Twilight movies. The fans will go no matter what.  I had never heard of Katherine Hardwick before Twilight.  Nor had anyone else but that movie mad Hundreds of Millions of dollars.

    • Kelly Barker

      I don’t think it’s about the money for the fans, it’s more about the quality. And someone like Catherine Hardwicke can make a completely sucky movie (which she did), and it’ll make money, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good movie. I read Twilight and I was heartbroken and embarrassed to be a fan after the first movie.

  • grapes9h5

    I wanted Bennett but I can do with this.

  • RSCAR

    So…Bradley Copper is directing Catching Fire haha

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lydia-Yang/1525361423 Lydia Yang

      I thought the exact same thing when saw the photo. lol. It’s nice to know there are others out there with the same sense of humor!

    • http://twitter.com/AdrianaMaroc Adriana Maroc

      haha i thought he looked like david guetta

    • erica

      Haha that was my first thought too. i was like man, Bradley cooper is looking rough.

    • Katya

      haha that was my first thought too. but he looks like an aging Bradley Cooper. 

    • 7Starrchasers

      This made me laugh so darn hard. But on a random note, I’m excited because he directed Constantine…have you guys seen it? its AWESOME.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ebooboo1 Erica Gipson

        Great movie… dark and creepy

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    I guess he’s ok…he makes big but average films

  • Amanda J

    So excited! It was my first choice

  • http://twitter.com/AdrianaMaroc Adriana Maroc

    he seems great! i loved what he did with water for elephants! Fingers crossed!

  • LotusCalm

    If so, I’m gonna hear Lawrence and think ‘which one’ every single time… confusing! :-P

  • http://twitter.com/JennaDickes Jenna Dickes

    Well it’s official, Lionsgate is just hiring whoever is convenient rather than who is best for the job. I guess they don’t have a choice after screwing themselves over like this. His movies are mediocre at best. Water for Elephants looked pretty but didn’t have any of the magic of the book. And it was downright campy half the time. I am Legend was better but still, no where near the caliber of talent that Gary and a lot of the other directors considered have. I’m really hoping we’ll hear that he’s a huge fan of the books, that would make me a lot less worried.

    Either way, I’m sure Catching Fire will still be great because Jennifer is the perfect Katniss and Suzanne is still involved in the screenplay.

    • gcw07

      I’m sure he will say he is a huge fan of the books. No way to know if it is true or not though. He could have just read them last week for all we know.

      • CliveRogan

         He probably said he was a huge fan of I Am Legend too, but just stood by and let them rip the entire point out of the story.  Though I don’t think it’s love for the book that’s important, it’s love for the film.  Other people are writing the script so as long as they keep what’s important, and he focuses on directing it well it could be good.

  • WhatTheGrace

    He’s a good director but not unique, he’ll do a good job just not a great job like Gary Ross did. Lionsgate probably hired him out of convenience in terms of scheduling etc. ah wells.
    At least Catching Fire is up and ready to go now!

  • Jelly

    His movies are so mediocre…

  • http://twitter.com/Snapescape Laura Cain

    I wanted Cuaron! Oh well. I Am Legend and Water for Elephants are both good films. But I was wondering, I know the director has the final say, but will he be working with the team from the first film? Like in Harry Potter, David Heyman was there for all the films, as well as the production designer, and so they understood what the audience was looking for a bit more. Does anyone know if this is the case with Catching Fire?

    • sherry905

      I think they still have the same producer, Nina Jacobson…

  • Ariana

    To all those out there who say only people who haven’t read the books liked PoA, movie 3 is one of my favorites, if not my favorite, and I began reading the books when I was 7 and eagerly awaited each one. Yes, it didn’t exactly follow the plot, but I thought a lot of the others movies had far more egregious changes, such as movie 4 (a dragon gets loose and rips off half the castle roof? Really?). It was beautifully done, entertaining and I thought had the same feel as PoA the book, which was darker than the first two (It introduced the dementors, after all), though not as dark as Goblet of Fire and the other books. I think perhaps it was a shock, since Chris Columbus’s movies followed the books pretty closely, and were much more lighthearted. I always hear people saying they hate the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, and its nice to hear a lot of people liked it too. And while many of those who didn’t like it are very polite about it, it would be nice if those who are not, and seem to insist that hating it is the only sane opinion, would not feel the need to go after anyone who does.

    • Megan

       I agree Ariana. I thought Cuaron did an absolutely fantastic job with POA. I think the feel and cinematography for that film were by far the best of the entire series. It really captured the true feel of Hogwarts and the magical world. Of course there were some slip ups (the talking heads being the biggest) but overall it captured the true nature of the POA story.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brenda-Gonzalez/511026772 Brenda Gonzalez

      I agree with you, film-wise, PoA was my favorite. The artistic direction, the way one scene cut into the other and the, specially how people’s voices would leak into the next scene. As a book, it was not my favorite, my favorite books were 4&5 and Order of the Phoenix was one of the worst films…

      As for the new director for Catching Fire, I have seen both movies mentioned in the article (I am Legend/ Water for Elephants) and I enjoyed both, in fact I have watched them both more than once. So I am not worried about him directing Catching Fire. I really liked Gary Ross, but the hand-held camera got a little too much at some points, I only really caught everything the second time I watched it, since I had to get over it and overlook all the shaky scenes. (By the way, I don’t mind hand-held. “Chronicle” did a great job this year with the hand-held style of filming, which I think was an under-rated movie.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/heather.smith07 Heather Smith

      Totally agree. I feel like it captured the spirit and tone. I feel the same things when I read the book and when I watched the movie. I respect the fact that people didn’t like that movie, but I feel like all the movies changed things a lot and added random things, and people always seem to overlook that. PoA took the HP films to the next level. While movies one and two were great, they are so different from the rest of the series, and PoA is where everything gets darker. And everything just looks better in PoA. Yeah, Cuaron changed how everything looked but he needed to. The first two looked a little corny to me, and Cuaron brought it to a contemporary level and made it beautiful. I have a lot of respect for that movie because it was a good balance. Yeah there were flaws, there was some bad acting, and some mistakes, but there were also some beautiful scenes, some great casting and acting, and everything looked so good. Pros and cons to all the movies, I’m not quite sure why PoA is getting as much crap as it is. It isn’t any worse than any of the others. Especially not Goblet of fire. 

  • Ariana

    By the way, I think Francis Lawrence will be great. I really liked the directing in I Am Legend, so I hope he does the same with Catching Fire. I liked Gary Ross, but my sister couldn’t even watch the film because of the shaking camera.

  • batwane-bruceman

    I”m going to miss Garry Ross, but I won’t miss all the hand-held camera scenes. I am usually a huge fan of hand-held stuff, but I just thought it was way too much in The Hunger Games. I’ve only seen two of Francis Lawrence’s works (I Am Legend and Water for Elephants) but I really enjoyed both of them. I hope he has some good fight scenes in Catching Fire!

  • http://twitter.com/NatashaPeartree Natasha Pereira

    gotta say, i love that half of this conversation is about PoA, not CF! so, while not my fav, I do love the artistic vision of PoA. And as far as this new director, its who I voted for in Hypable’s poll! Don;t know much about his style other than Legend and Water, but we’ll judge his chops in about a year and half!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Monkman/502331043 Robert Monkman

    Some people should step outside of the fandoms once in a while. I don’t understand why people are saying it shouldn’t have been Cuaron based on POA. Maybe look at his other films, check if he has a dystopian sci-fi adaptation to his name? Children of Men is a quality film and as they said on the CinemaHype podcast one of the best scifis of the last decade and better than Hunger Games (but after all this all just my opinion!)

  • Marly

    I don’t really know much about this guy’s work, but I’m thinking that it will be nice to have a different director for the second film. I thought that Gary Ross made a great movie, but some decisions were not my favorite. Anyway, Catching Fire has a far different tone from The Hunger Games so I think it will be good to have a new view. 

  • Monica

    I didn’t particularly like I Am Legend, and I haven’t seen Water for Elephants, but I’m going to try and remain positive (mostly for the sake of trying to get over the massive heartbreak that is losing Gary Ross)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brenda-Gonzalez/511026772 Brenda Gonzalez

    Ahhh… Francis Lawrence also directed “Constantine” with Keanu Reeves… I liked that too, although most people didn’t, I’ll admit its not his best work.

  • Azeem

    WTF? Why the f**k did Lionsgate choose this guy of Bennett Miller. Millers films are constantly critically acclaimed and he has been nominated for Best Director twice. He also works with fantastic actors and crew members, and there was a possibility of Wally Pfister coming to work with Miller for Catching Fire (which would be amazing!) as he worked with him for Moneyball, one of the best films of 2011 and not only that, but both Capote and Moneyball were nominated for Best Picture, something which could really help the Hunger Games film franchise be noticed by the Academy members and be noted as an amazing film franchise, like the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter (however Harry Potter was never nominated for any BIG Academy Awards. I started to respect Lionsgate until now. Hopefully they will realize the error of their ways. 

  • Team Haymitch

    has he accepted the job yet??? is it official??????? i must know!!!!!!!!!

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