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The production company are reportedly on the hunt for a different director to spearhead the third installment of Suzanne Collins’ book trilogy because of their speedy release date plan for the final part of the franchise.
It seems likely Lionsgate will look for a director on the independent circuit. Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), Duncan Jones (Moon) and Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) were all reportedly considered for the role of Catching Fire director. It looks likely they will contend to direct Mockingjay.
The original The Hunger Games made over $400 million at the box office, on a production budget of $78 million. With an audience already in place, Mockingjay will be an attractive proposition to any dirctor – albeit a mainstream film in which the studio is heavily invested.
According to Collider, a Lionsgate source said: “Summit’s Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, producers Nina Jacobson and author Suzanne Collins are currently vetting the right directors.”
Director Francis Lawrence has been confirmed to direct the upcoming second chapter, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, after the first film’s director Gary Ross opted out of returning because Lionsgate are keen to release the sequel by November 2013 and need to start the production quickly.
It was announced last week that the third and final chapter will be spilt into two parts. the films are scheduled for release on November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015 respectively.
It is not yet known whether Lionsgate are looking for separate directors for the two Mockingjay movies.
Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson are all set to reprise their respective roles of Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark in Catching Fire, which is expected to be released on November 22, 2013.