As the sequel to the 2008 bestseller “The Hunger Games,” it continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the fictional, futuristic nation of Panem. Due to the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the ruling Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of the The Hunger Games.
Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will again feature the great Elizabeth Banks in her role as Effie Trinkett. I like Banks a lot, so I’m hoping she has more to do this time. Update: We’ve added a poster of Stanley Tucci as the host of the games, Caesar. Apparently they’re starting with the purple-haired characters first.
In theaters November 22 from director Francis Lawrence, “As the sequel to the 2008 bestseller “The Hunger Games,” it continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the fictional, futuristic nation of Panem. Due to the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the ruling Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of the The Hunger Games.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lynn Cohen, Patrick St. Esprit, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Maria Howell and Sam Claflin all star.
Head inside for the posters! READ MORE
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.
Ok, let’s just say that for the sake of argument, you were annoyed that we covered Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games. Would have bothered you if, let’s say, David Cronenberg directed it?
The LA Times is reporting that now that Lionsgate and Hunger Games director Gary Ross have parted ways, the studio has been quickly cobbling together a list of directors who would fit their criteria.
The master list is seven or eight names long, all men, and all have some significant credits to their name. Lionsgate is basically hoping to re-create the Harry Potter moment when Warner Bros. brought Alfonso Cuaron to direct the third film in the series. In fact, Cuaron is in the mix for Catching Fire, along with David Cronenberg (The Fly, The Brood, Videodrome) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel), among others.
The studio wants to get the sequel, Catching Fire, into production by August, and the task will require someone who can wrangle a large ensemble of actors, juggle the demands of a swift schedule and collaborate on a script with Suzanne Collins and writer Simon Beaufoy.
Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games, which echoes Running Man and Battle Royale, is nearing $500 million worldwide.
I really liked The Hunger Games and am hoping that it could be the next big film franchise. If we need these behemoth cash cows they should at least be halfway decent, right? So it’s sort of concerning to hear that Games director Gary Ross has dropped out of directing the sequel, Catching Fire.
Per Indiewire, “Gary Ross has officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel, formally giving Lionsgate and Summit his notice earlier this week, that he will not be coming back. Though recent trade reports have spun the story as being an issue mostly about money, that’s pretty much a small part of the motivation. Ross has never been a filmmaker that repeats himself (going from satire in “Pleasantville” to horse racing drama in “Seabiscuit” and action in “The Hunger Games”) and we’re told the burning desire simply isn’t there to spend another couple of years with Katniss in the Capitol (evidently, he also liked the first book best).”
*Update – Deadline is now reporting that the director may not be off the project after all. They’re “hearing from multiple sources close to Catching Fire that director Gary Ross has not formally withdrawn from The Hunger Games sequel.” I suspect we’ll see all of this shake out next week. Either he’ll be on, or there will be a mad race for a new helmer.
I haven’t read the books, so I wasn’t aware of any perceived drop off in quality in the second two installments. But apparently a lot of people feel that way. What concerns me is that the original has now made so much money that the studio may go with a cheaper, less seasoned helmer in an effort to get Fire into theaters as quickly (and with as little turbulence) as possible.