Lionsgate officially announced today that Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine) has officially signed on to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, based on the second in a series of books by Suzanne Collins that has 36 million copies in circulation in the US alone.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to bring “Catching Fire,” the second chapter of Suzanne’s beloved trilogy, to the big screen,” Said Francis. “I fell in love with the characters, the themes and the world she created and this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way. I can’t wait to dive right into it and bring this chapter to life along with the truly superb cast and filmmakers involved.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles.
The film will be produced by Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Production is slated to begin this Fall, and the film will be released on November 22, 2013.
The Hunger Games has broken many box office records since it opened on March 23, 2012. It achieved the highest grossing opening weekend ever for any non-sequel film and the third biggest opening weekend in box office history. It has already grossed $373 million at the North American box office, ranking in the top 20 films of all time, and it recently crossed the $600 million mark in worldwide box office.