Check Out Our New Look

Francis Lawrence To Direct ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Pics

Francis Lawrence is seeing through Lionsgate‘s The Hunger Games franchise until the end. The director of the first sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, now in production, has now signed on to helm the final two installments of the series, Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2, which splits the final book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy into two films. Danny Strong is writing both Mockingjay pics, and Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are back to star. The final two movies follow heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol, and she must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.

Lawrence, whose credits include Constantine, I Am Legend and most recently Water For Elephants, replaced Gary Ross at the helm of Catching Fire in April. He was chosen in a race that came down to Lawrence and Moneyball helmer Bennett Miller, after Juan Antonio Bayona couldn’t do it. He is currently wrapping production on the pic with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone and Amanda Plummer joining the cast. Lawrence is repped by CAA and 3 Arts. Read More »

Comments (10)

Jeffrey Wright To Play Beetee In ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

By | Friday September 7, 2012 @ 10:09am PDT

Santa Monica, CA, September 7, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Jeffrey Wright has been cast in the role of Beetee in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire. Hailing from District 3, Beetee earns the nickname “Volts” because of his electronics expertise.

Read More »

Comments (3)

Jena Malone Joins Cast Of Lionsgate’s ‘Catching Fire’

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 9:12am PDT

Jenna Malone Catching Fire Johanna Mason Santa Monica, CA, July 23, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES:CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Jena Malone has been cast in the role of Johanna Mason in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire. Johanna Mason is a female victor from a past Games still in her early twenties, and is one of the youngest, but also one of the most psychologically scarred Quarter Quell participants.

Read More »

Comments (19)

Amanda Plummer Cast In ‘Catching Fire’

By | Tuesday July 17, 2012 @ 9:16am PDT

Amanda Plummer Catching Fire CastingAmanda Plummer will play Wiress in Lionsgate‘s The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, which is due to be released November 22, 2013. The character’s eccentricity earns her the nickname “Nuts” from fellow tributes, and though she doesn’t communicate traditionally, her observations and contributions prove invaluable. Plummer, a screen and stage performer whose film credits include Pulp Fiction and The Fisher King, next stars in the indie Abigail Harms.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Comments (4)

Universal Releasing ‘Hunger Games’ Sequel In Italy

By | Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 8:01am PDT
Mike Fleming

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 12, 2012 — Universal Pictures, one of the world’s leading producers and distributors of filmed entertainment, has acquired distribution rights in Italy to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the next installment of Lionsgate’s blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, it was announced today by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman.

The first film in the franchise, the global blockbuster The Hunger Games, has already grossed $400 million at the North American box office, the 14th highest-grossing film of all time, and is nearing $650 million at the worldwide box office with a nationwide launch in China upcoming later this week.

“We are delighted to expand our successful international partnership with Universal to Italy on this exciting franchise,” said Lionsgate International President Helen Lee Kim, who orchestrated the deal along with Wachsberger. “We have enjoyed a productive relationship with Universal in several territories on such recent Lionsgate and Summit films as the Step Up franchise, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Cabin in the Woods. The Hunger Games has emerged as a truly global phenomenon, and we believe that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will elevate the franchise to a new level of performance at the international box office.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will go into production in September and will be released worldwide on November 22, 2013.

Comments (0)

StudioCanal ‘Catching Fire’ In Expansion & Renewal Of Lionsgate Pact

Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, and media giant STUDIOCANAL have extended and expanded their partnership with a longterm renewal of the agreement under which Lionsgate distributes the STUDIOCANAL library of more than 2,000 titles as well as a new agreement for STUDIOCANAL to distribute the next installment of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, CATCHING FIRE, in the German speaking territories, the two companies announced today at the Cannes Film Festival.

Read More »

Comments (1)

Director Francis Lawrence Chosen For ‘Catching Fire’ Sequel To ‘Hunger Games’

By | Thursday April 19, 2012 @ 5:52pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Catching Fire Hunger Games Francis LawrenceBREAKING: Lionsgate has tapped Francis Lawrence to direct Catching Fire, replacing Gary Ross as director of the second installment of The Hunger Games franchise. Deadline told you last night it came down to Lawrence and Moneyball helmer Bennett Miller, after Juan Antonio Bayona couldn’t do it. Miller was very interested, but wanted Lionsgate to push back so that he could make the Steve Carell-starrer Foxcatcher. Lionsgate wants to start production in late August, and wouldn’t do it (that’s the reason they lost Ross, who didn’t see a way to prep the picture in time). So that left Lawrence, and Catching Fire Francis Lawrencerumors have been flying all day he’d get the gig. Lawrence last helmed Water For Elephants, and before that I Am Legend and Constantine and before that videos for the likes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Green Day. Lawrence can jump right into the project and get Jennifer Lawrence through the second installment before Fox enforces an option for her to make the second installment of X-Men: First Class. Some feel that Fox might not even make that early 2013 start date, but there is testiness between the studios after Lawrence wasn’t made available to do promotion on X-Men: First Class because she was on Hunger Games duty. CAA and 3 Arts rep … Read More »

Comments 28

Lionsgate Getting Close On ‘Catching Fire’ Director

By | Wednesday April 18, 2012 @ 7:31pm PDT
Mike Fleming

The race to replace Gary Ross as director of The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire is likely between Moneyball director Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence, who most recently directed Water for Elephants and who handled a big scale movie in I Am Legend. I’m told that Lionsgate also met with The Orphanage helmer Juan Antonio Bayona, and that they also discussed Attack The Block director Joe Cornish. But Bayona appears to be busy–though he’s not completely out of it–and the Cornish conversation didn’t materialize into a meeting. If I had to guess, I would think the likely candidate to be Miller, who’s coming off such an impressive film. He’s very picky, but word is he is quite interested in replacing Ross in Catching Fire. The sticking point: he wanted to push until spring so he could make Foxcatcher for Fox. Lionsgate wants to start by August and doesn’t want to wait. That could put Lawrence in the driver’s seat. We should know the answer in a matter of days and possibly before the week is out.

Comments 41

Gary Ross Decides NOT To Direct ‘Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire’: Lionsgate Shocked

By | Tuesday April 10, 2012 @ 7:03pm PDT

Hunger Games 2 Catching FireBREAKING… Lionsgate executives and reps around Gary Ross for weeks have expressed confidence that The Hunger Games director would helm the second installment of the book trilogy, Catching Fire. They expected the deal to go down right after Easter weekend. And they even went so far as to privately deny an Internet report that Ross had told the studio at the start of last week that he would not helm the sequel because he didn’t want to repeat himself. Instead, as a Lionsgate exec now tells me, “I am in shock.” Ross lobbied hard to get The Hunger Games and turned it into the biggest hit of his directing career. (Before that, he developed several serious historical dramatic projects under his deal at Universal that didn’t get off the ground.) Staying for a sure-fire hit and a sequel that audiences actually want to see made a lot of sense for Ross, particularly given how active he’d been already on Catching Fire. He and The Hunger Games trilogy author Suzanne Collins had been working on this sequel since last November. They drafted Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy when The Hunger Games post-production schedule became too arduous for Ross to carry through with a plan to write the sequel outline and then pen the script with Collins. As for the notion that Ross would simply toss away the opportunity to direct Catching Fire because of a salary squabble, the logic seems flawed. The Seabiscuit director knows the benefit of riding a winner and not switching horses midstream. I understand the negotiations were handled by Lionsgate toppers Jon Feltheimer, Michael Burns, and movie chief Rob Friedman, newly arrived from Summit. That studio also changed up directors after its massive hit Twilight debuted — and the franchise not only wasn’t hurt but thrived at the box office. So let the speculation begin about Ross’s replacement. Here is the statement by Gary Ross just released by the studio:

Hunger Games Gary RossDespite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.

I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.

To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.

Here is Lionsgate’s statement:

We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire.

Read More »

Comments 188

Sources: Gary Ross Has Not Withdrawn From ‘Hunger Games 2′

Despite reports that have spread like wildfire on showbiz websites, we hear from multiple sources close to Catching Fire that director Gary Ross has not formally withdrawn from The Hunger Games sequel. Ross is off on a family vacation and couldn’t be reached, but these internet reports that described his withdrawal as definitive are simply not accurate.

There have also been reports about a tense standoff between Lionsgate and Fox over the sequel services of Jennifer Lawrence, who will reprise her role as Mystique in the sequel to X-Men: First Class. That has also been somewhat overblown; Fox had an option deal on Lawrence way before she signed on to play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. That put Fox in first position. Since Lionsgate has a Catching Fire script done, Fox allowed them to go first.

As for the notion that Ross would simply toss away the opportunity to return and direct Catching Fire because of a salary squabble, the logic seems flawed. The Seabiscuit director knows the benefit of riding in a winner and not switching horses midstream. Ross lobbied hard to get The Hunger Games and turned it into the biggest hit of his directing career. Before that, he developed several serious historical dramatic projects under his deal at Universal that didn’t get off the ground. Staying for a sure-fire hit and a sequel that audiences actually want … Read More »

Comments 62