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Francis Lawrence to direct next three Hunger Games films

Jennifer Lawrence stars in The Hunger Games, which made over $400m at the box office

Francis Lawrence has been given the chance to direct the final instalments of The Hunger Games movies, after Lionsgate decided to split the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games: Mockingjay into two parts.

The filmmaker – who is currently helming the second motion picture in the series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - will direct the third and final part of the popular trilogy entitled .

Gary Ross directed the first film The Hunger Games and was set to helm the sequel as well, but he walked away from the role as he believed he wouldn’t have enough time to complete production ready for its November 2013 release.

Filming of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is currently taking place and it is expected Francis will move immediately on to parts one and two of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

Last month, it was revealed Game Change director Danny Strong has been hired to write the final scripts, after competing against a host of other writers, including Cabin in the Woods scribe Drew Goddard, to win the job.

The first film in the series – which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson – grossed $685 million worldwide at the box office after its release earlier this year.

Part one of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is due out on November 21, 2014 and Part two is set for November 20, 2015.

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