Francis Lawrence, who was hired to direct The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will now also be directing the remainder of the series with a two-part adaptation of Mockingjay, Collider reports.
The director of the first film, Gary Ross, was originally supposed to direct Catching Fire but backed out after deciding he didn’t have enough time to write and prepare the film the way he wanted because of a tight production schedule. Lawrence has now risen to the occasion and will presumably start working on Mockingjay as soon as he finished filming Catching Fire.
Danny Strong, who has written the HBO films Recount and Game Change, will be writing the screenplay for both Mockingjay films.
Catching Fire will hit theaters November 22, 2013. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is set to be released November 21, 2014, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 will be released November 20, 2015.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland will reprise their roles in Mockingjay.
Lawrence was initially skeptical of splitting the final film into two parts. She was in the middle of shooting the first film in the series and had re-read the books and saw how much material had been left out.
“You want everything in there, but you don’t have enough room, and you’re trying to decide what’s going to get cut and what isn’t,” Lawrence said. “So it was a relief on the last one to know that we don’t really have to cut anything. We have enough time, we have enough room to really tell this story to the fullest, and we don’t need to cut anything.”
What do you think of Mockingjay being split into two parts?