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Catching Fire now has a director for the follow-up to The Hunger Games.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate has chosen Francis Lawrence to direct to second film in the trilogy. Gary Ross, who directed the first film has chosen to not do the second installment. Lawrence, known for directing I Am Legend and Water for Elephants was chosen off the short list that also included Bennett Miller, Tomas Alfredson, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Duncan Jones, and Cary Fukunaga.

While every other director on the list had multiple projects lined up, Lawrence has a pretty open schedule that made him the frontrunner. While Ross was a writer on Hunger Games, it’s unknown how involved Lawrence will be in the penning of the script for Catching Fire.

Simon Beaufoy who also worked on the first film has already started working on the script, but the producers will be hiring new writers to finalize a strong script before filming starts on the project.

Catching Fire already has a release date set for November 22, 2013. The final movie will be split in two so there will be a total of four films. The project is on the fast track right now with the date already set and the fact that Jennifer Lawrence will have to finish shooting so she can start on the X-Men: First Class sequel.

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