Francis Lawrence has been confirmed as the director of Catching Fire. We told you this was rumored to be happening last month, but now it’s official. Such is the way the industry works now, and how information like this is parsed. We guess that means that everyone had about two weeks to change their minds.

Unfortunately, Francis Lawrence is riding a bullet train on this one, as they will begin shooting later this year – and they have to because of Jennifer Lawrence‘s schedule. She will be on to the X-Men: First Class sequel in early next year. So he’s got a couple months of prep time. But, for the most part, a lot of the heavy lifting is done in terms of cast and – likely – crew.

The interesting thing about this is that Lawrence has put himself into a tight spot on this film in that there’s not going to be a lot of time to massage the script. Likely the writer Simon Beaufoy (and possibly ghost writers) will be working with the director while in production. But perhaps that time pressure will give him a freedom to make the film he wants to, something he didn’t have on I am Legend.

The payoff for his troubles is a film that should make $300 Million domestic (and possibly a billion worldwide) even if it isn’t very good. And if it is good, it means he’ll have his pick of his next project – if he doesn’t stay on to finish the series.

Who would you have wanted to see direct Catching Fire?