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Collider has learned that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence will helm the final two parts of the franchise, Mockingjay Part 1 and 2.

UPDATE: Lionsgate has now confirmed this news:

Collider is reporting to have a solid source that says the deal was only just completed. Lawrence and the cast and crew of Catching Fire are currently filming in Atlanta, Georgia, which makes an ideal time to announce the deal for both parties.

Lawrence had signed on to Catching Fire in May after Gary Ross had to back out because of time constraints. At the time, there was talk that Lionsgate was seeking someone else to helm Mockingjay.

When reached by email earlier, Lionsgate had no comment.

Danny Strong will write Mockingjay, we learned a month ago today. So while the screenwriter has changed from Catching Fire, it seems Lionsgate is pleased with what they’ve seen from Lawrence, whose appointment had mixed reaction from fans. The good news here is Lionsgate has seemingly forgone the mess that was the Catching Fire director announcement, choosing to go the safer route, which is definitely welcome after what Hunger Games fans have gone through.

In addition to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lawrence has also directed Water for Elephants and I Am Legend, among others. For Lawrence, this is quite a commitment as Lionsgate will need production on Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2 to begin immediately after Catching Fire ends in order to make the set release dates.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will be released November 21, 2014. Part 2 will be out November 20, 2015.

Thanks to Collider for the scoop.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Baril.

  • Alex

    Shouldn’t they wait for Catching Fire first?

    • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

      I’d say no, because Lionsgate really had to scramble to get a director in time for Catching Fire. They especially need to hire a director for the next two now because they only are a year apart from another. I for one am glad the last three will all be the same director.

    • http://twitter.com/Miss_Y_Turner Yasemin Turner

      not really no, the better they can get started on prep for Mockingjay the better the end product will be. With Gary Ross preparation was everything, which is why he walked out on CF because there wasnt enough time to prepare the way he wanted to and Im very happy that Francis Lawrence seems to think along the same lines. Yay! :D

      • Alex

        Yeah, but what if he sucks?
        No offence, I’m sure he is great director, but what if his style does not exactly “agree” with the expectations of the fans?
        Don’t forget, we are talking about the biggest movie franchise right now, with million devoted fans from all over the world.

  • http://twitter.com/emilyecstasyTM Emily Bryan

    I wouldn’t mind him filming Mockingjay, though I’d like to see what he does with Catching Fire first. I know he’s a great director, but with a series, it’s pretty iffy.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyMegan10 Megan Kelly

    Not sure how I feel about this until I see what he does with Catching Fire..

    • Corin Boswell

      This was my thought exactly.

  • upper_westsider

    Is Bradley Cooper related to Francis Lawrence? WOW, they look a lot alike to me!

    • lookalivesteph

      I thought the exact same thing. Could have sworn it was Bradley Cooper in the picture.

    • lorepottter

      yes!! i thought for a moment he was making a movie looking like this, and then i read the title, and discovered he was not Bradley

  • Julie L

    I am actually really excited about this decision because Catching Fire and Mockingjay are kind of 2 halves of a whole. With the ending of Catching Fire, it makes me feel a lot better that there will be a sense of cohesion into Mockingjay. It will be good to a consistent vision through these next 3 films. And even though we haven’t seen Lawrence’s version of Catching Fire, I am sure he can’t screw it up too bad right? (Let’s hope I don’t eat my own words).

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    it makes me a little uneasy that they rush these multi-sequel productions. like, i totally get why they do it, but i still wish they could just take it easy, one at a time, and not end up in situations like w/ catching fire where somebody drops out because of time restraints. or just let your actors and production team breathe for a little bit in between. i mean, 3 films in 3 years… i guess it’s doable but DAMN that’s a lot of work for this level of a film.

    • http://twitter.com/ClaudioCatino CCMASTER_01

      Exactly. That was Gary Ross’ problem. Lionsgate wants to crap out a movie year after year, and he just couldn’t work with those time constraints. I sure hope this doesn’t affect the quality of the next three movies.

  • applepie

    I hate to admit it, but I was kind of hoping Gary Ross would come back for Mockingjay. I just loved what he did with The Hunger Games so much, I was devastated when he left. I’m just hoping Francis Lawrence will do it just as much justice *fingers crossed*

  • karma

    when is the new podcast for hunger games coming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

    I am anxious to see what direction Lawrence takes this film in. I hope he sees the parallels between the world in the book and the world we live in today and draws some inspiration from the recent Arab spring riots.

  • bethanny23

    I’ll hold on my opinion until I see what he does with Catching Fire.

  • http://twitter.com/aadnama Amanda Douglas

    I’m so excited about this! I know Francis will do a fantastic job with Catching Fire, and it’s comforting to know there will be some consistency with the styles for the next three films.

  • Teranel

    I guess it’s a bit early to say since we haven’t seen anything of Catching Fire yet, but I thought when they chose him that he’d be well-suited to direct Mockingjay, based on the artistic style of I Am Legend.

  • 7Starrchasers

    I’ve got mixed feelings… Im glad the next three films will stay consistent in style but not having seen catching fire…things good go either way at this point.

  • Jackijd

    Why do they have to rush to make these films? Take your time. Make them well. Bring back Gary Ross. No? Okay :

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