Top ‘Hunger Games’ Fansites React to Francis Lawrence

Yesterday, news broke out that Lionsgate has officially offered Francis Lawrence with the director’s position for Catching Fire. You may remember Francis Lawrence as the director of Constantine, I Am LegendWater For Elephants and a lot of popular music videos like Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance! It is not confirmed if he has accepted the offer just yet[although, it seems very likely he will], but let’s see what some of the major fansites has to say.

Adam of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Francis Lawrence is a bit of a question mark, and that’s probably a good thing. Keep in mind, Gary Ross didn’t fit everyone’s ideal image right away, and he proved to be exceptionally equipped for the task. What you didn’t want was someone like Alfonso Cuaron, who would spin this into a critically acclaimed picture that spits on Suzanne Collins’ words. As long as thisLawrence makes use of the other Lawrence the way Ross did, this could work out. I do have some concerns about Lawrence’s track record with book adaptations, but I’m going to see dandelions here; this could turn out extremely well, and we’ve still got Suzanne and Nina to steer the ship from here to kingdom come.

Theresa of Down With The Capitol
I fully admit to being a newbie in the Francis Lawrence camp. I have yet to see a film he has worked on (though I’m planning to change that soon), so I really can’t make a judgment on this decision.  I can say that I trust those involved in the project, including Nina Jacobson and Suzanne Collins, to protect the film, and I will do my best to learn to trust Lawrence as well. Hopefully we’ll be hearing from him soon on his thoughts for the adaptation. We lost a fan boy in Gary Ross, and to hear Lawrence’s thoughts on the book/film would be a helpful beginning as he enters the franchise. May the odds be ever in Lawrence’s favor.

Crystal of Mockingjay.net/FictionalFood.net
Yesterday when word was that it was down to Miller and Lawrence, I had picked Miller as the one I wanted because I didn’t really care for Constantine or I Am Legend, or even Water for Elephants. That being said, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. So while I had my reservations yesterday, I’ll wait to judge after I’ve seen or read interviews with him. First and foremost, he has to have read the books or be reading them right now. If he hops into the script rewrite without having done that, my head might explode. The funniest thing about him being the one is that I’m of the opinion that he looks like the spitting image of Bradley Cooper like 20 years from now, whom Jennifer has just done two consecutive movies with.

Amanda of The Hob
I can honestly say Francis Lawrence wouldn’t be my first choice. I never saw I Am Legend, and I wasn’t that impressed with Water for Elephants - everything looked great, but the casting was a bit off and the adaptation of the book wasn’t always ideal. However, I recently learned that he served as director and executive producer on Kings, one of my favorite TV shows that was cancelled way too soon, which gives me a bit more confidence and excitement about his selection. Catching Fire is going to be a demanding movie, and I hope that Lionsgate chose him because he’s up for the challenge and not just because he was available on short notice. So until we see the first interviews and clips from the movie, I’m going to remain optimistic that he can deliver the movie fans deserve. And maybe (hopefully) we’ll find out he’s a fan himself!

Please visit this link for the full list of people weighing in on Francis Lawrence!

Well, looks like we have quite a range of opinions regarding Francis Lawrence! The fandom has some major homework to do for the weekend! If you haven’t already watched any of his movies or music videos, please do so and let us know what you think! We should be able to get a finalized answer very soon! Thanks so much to Perri Nemiroff of movies.com for gathering the thoughts of some of our AMAZING admins from our beloved fansites!

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Francis Lawrence – Catching Fire

Get used to the name Lawrence, everyone, because The Hunger Games franchise now depends entirely on both JENNIFER LAWRENCE and FRANCIS LAWRENCE!

Francis Lawrence is the new director for Catching Fire, replacing Gary Ross! This breaking report comes from The Hollywood Reporter.

Here’s an excerpt:

Francis Lawrence Director Headshot - P 2012
Sources say that Lawrence will receive an official offer this afternoon. If he accepts and a deal can be worked out, he will replace Gary Ross, who directed the first installment of the hugely successful franchise.

The hunt had been a fast and furious one, with the field narrowing down to Lawrence, the director of I Am Legend and Water for Elephants, and Bennett Miller, the director of the acclaimed Brad Pitt baseball movie Moneyball. Both directors met with the studio today, according to sources, and Lionsgate executives have made their pick.

Lawrence was deemed the front-runner by observers simply because of his open schedule. Miller is working his way to a December start for Foxcatcher, a true-life project centering John Du Pont that has been his focus for several years. Miller has even lined up Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffallo for the drama and pushing it would have been a Herculean task.

See the full report HERE!

Is it down to Miller and Lawrence for ‘Catching Fire’?

According to sources (how reliable, we don’t know yet) Lionsgate’s shortlist for directors just got shorter.  Rumor has it that it’s come down to Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence, with hope of a final decision by the end of the week.  Check out the story from  The Hollywood Reporter below.

The search for a director to replace Gary Ross onCatching Fire is narrowing, with a decision potentially coming as early as the end of this week, according to sources.

Bennett Miller, who directedMoneyball, has met with Lionsgate to helm the sequel toThe Hunger Games, the adaptation of the Suzanne Collins best-seller, as hasFrancis Lawrence, the director best known for theWill Smith sci-fi action movieI Am Legend.

Their names surfaced in the last 24 hours and were reported byThe Playlist and the Los Angeles Times as the search field for prospective directors narrows.

Lawrence is deemed the front-runner by observers simply because of his open schedule. Miller is working his way to a December start for Foxcatcher, the story of John Du Pont, a paranoid schizophrenic who was heir to the du Pont fortune before he shot and killed Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz. Miller has been working on this passion project for years and has lined up Steve Carell and Channing Tatum with Mark Ruffallo in negotiations to join the cast.

It’s unlikely that Miller would abandon Foxcatcherfor Fire, although it’s possible he could try to push back its start date.

Scheduling is at the heart of Catching Fire’s director vacancy. The franchise’s starJennifer Lawrence must finish shooting the movie by December 20 and in time to start shooting the sequel to Fox’s X-Men: First Class, which has an option that pre-dates Liongate’s deal.

Lionsgate not only has the December 20 date weighing on it but an already-penciled in November 22, 2013 release date.

Any thoughts on these rumored new developments?

DWTC Reports – Bennett Miller, Francis Lawrence on Director’s Short List

Major thanks to our friends at Down With the Capitol for THIS REPORT!

Here’s an excerpt, including their REALLY COOL IMAGE:

According to The Playlist, Lionsgate has two more directors in their sites to potentially take on the chair for Catching Fire. In addition to the previously reported names of David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, they are also considering. Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence.

From The Playlist

Sources close to the project tell The Playlist that “Moneyball” helmer Bennett Miller and “I Am Legend” director Francis Lawrence are also in contention for the gig. Miller is coming off the very strong baseball drama (another project he picked up in flux when Steven Soderbergh’s version was axed at the last minute) which journeyed all the way to the Oscars with six nominations including Best Picture. There’s no doubt he’s got a handle on drama and emotional tone, and full-on action fare would be a new dynamic, but the filmmaker has proven himself extremely adaptable given his documentary beginnings. There is also the question of “Foxcatcher,” the true crime tale he’s been trying to make ever since he finished “Capote.” Mark Ruffalo recently joined the film that is eyeing a fall shoot, but would Miller be willing to put it on the backburner again? Could there be other factors at play pushing it back? These questions will need answering if Miller were to move forward here.

Meanwhile, Lawrence is the more obvious fit here. The former music video director and filmmaker knows action and effects down cold, and can also handle the dramatic beats the story would need, evidenced by “Water For Elephants.” And perhaps more importantly, his schedule is free and he could jump into this right away and get cracking on firming up the Simon Beaufoy-penned script (which we hear needs work) and getting into pre-production mode for the film that could be lensing as early as August.

See the rest of Down With the Capitol’s article HERE!

Who SHOULD Replace Gary Ross?

Over at ScreenCrave.com, I put together a list of my top 10 directors to replace Gary Ross, along with the three WORST options being floated out there. To see them all, CLICK HERE!

Here’s an excerpt, listing the first five:

1. Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh Haywire 041212 PW Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

Soderbergh is the obvious best choice because his fingerprints are all over the franchise already. Brought in as a Second Unit Director on the first film, he commandeered one of the finer scenes in the picture: the rebellion sequence in District 11. It was a hailed by critics and fans as a flourishing addition, and his talent as a director was on full display.

Soderbergh’s credentials are also impressive. Not only is he close with Ross, but his accomplishments are considerably superior. Director of Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, and Contagion, he clearly has the chops. The only concerns about him are his rumored casting preferences (Alex Pettyfer for Finnick? No thanks!) The other problem is – and this will be a common theme – he is allegedly too busy to step in on such short notice.

2. Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

The former wife of James Cameron is a hot commodity these days after winning the Oscar for Directing with Iraq-war sensation The Hurt Locker. As the first and only woman to snag the award, it puts her in extremely elite company, and what better way to further the message of female empowerment than to put Katniss Everdeen in her hands? With The Hurt Locker, Bigelow demonstrated her ability to tackle violence and war, which she could display in spades during Catching Fire sequences.

It’s unclear whether she would be interested, but Lionsgate should certainly extend some overtures. One big problem: She’s currently working on Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the Navy Seals who tracked down Osama bin Laden. Timing could be impossible.

3. Ang Lee

Ang Lee 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

Known for lauded films like Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, perhaps my favorite rendition of his was actually Sense and Sensibility, where he so deftly tackled Jane Austen’s nuanced text. That ability to adapt from novel to screen could serve him extremely well here with Catching Fire. Throughout his career, Lee has proven his versatility – the kind of versatility needed for the District 12 scenes, coupled with the violence in the Arena. Imagine the mountains of Brokeback juxtaposed with the combat of Tiger. It does seem like a great fit.

However, critics might question his tendency for slow pacing. After all, his target market is made up of mostly young adults, who may not have the patience for his scenic deliberation and andante tempo. To be successful, he would have to adopt a more electric style. I think he can do it.

4. Brad Bird

Brad Bird Mission Impossible 4 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

I’ve been throwing Bird’s name out anywhere and everywhere, because so far his track record has been simply phenomenal. The architect behind two Pixar gems (the exhilarating The Incredibles and the culturally resplendent Ratatouille), Bird also showed his mastery over the live action technique with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a herculean effort that resurrected what appeared to be a dormant franchise. So far, he has earned platitudes from every sector, for both a steady hand in the director’s chair and an intelligent appreciation for artistry.

My concerns are twofold: 1) The lack of experience, but more importantly, 2) Would he respect Collins’ source material enough? The fact that there’s a question mark on the latter makes me hesitant to throw my whole heart behind him. All of his previous efforts have been self-constructed – would he do right by Collins and the fan base? I think he would, but I don’t have proof, and in these harrowing times, reassurance is needed.

5. Duncan Jones

Duncan Jones Source Code 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

Now here’s a candidate I could realistically see taking over. Jones is a hot name in fan circles and for good reason: his first two flicks have been categorical successes (Moon and Source Code). In both cases, he managed to feature science fiction topics and make them stimulating (in the case of Moon, with basically one character). Source Code was hardly on the silver screen radar, but it proved to be a frenetic, down-to-the-wire picture – just the kind of suspense-building Catching Fire could use.

The cons? He’s still relatively unproven, and to pick him might be a serious gamble. Then again, it’s a gamble that could pay off with huge dividends, and he might just appreciate the opportunity more than the others above. His availability is also a major plus, but the question of the hour: Is he as much of a Hunger Games fan as Ross, and could he work directly with Collins?

There are some really surprising choices after this, including the likes of Joe Wright, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and Cary Fukunaga,  so keep reading HERE!

‘What If’ Posters

Entertainment Weekly came out with an intriguing and often humorous article about what the Hunger Games poster would look like if directed by someone other than Gary Ross.  You can see how a director’s style is often portrayed in their movie poster, and some of these are just great, while others are just plain ludicrous, but still fun to look at.  Here are some of the most interesting ones (if not funny), in my opinion.

Director: Woody Allen

 

Director: Nancy Meyers

 

Director: Roger Corman

 

Director: Frederico Fellini

 

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

 

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

 

Director: Michael Bay

 

Obviously, the most ridiculous one has to be the Michael Bay poster.  I couldn’t help but just laugh about it.  So, what do you think of them?  Can you see how poster can change the way a movie is portrayed?  If you want to check out more posters, including David Fincher, Peter Jackson, Disney, and Garry Marshall, go to EW.com.