Gary Ross established the tone of the filmed versions of The Hunger Games trilogy with the first movie, but when push came to shove, he felt he didn’t have enough time to get the sequel Catching Fire readied for its November 2013 release. Francis Lawrence got the job, and it looks like he’s staying put to finish out the franchise. He’s been hired to direct the two-part finale Mockingjay.
This news was broke by our friends over at Collider, and confirmed by LionsGate shortly thereafter. As Lawrence is in the midst of making The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the studio must be happy with what they’ve seen. But also they need someone to finish it out, and the two-parters we’ve had so far (from Harry Potter and Twilight) have all had the same director. For Lawrence this is steady work, and likely three films guaranteed to make over a half a billion worldwide each (if not have all get close to the billion dollar mark). And for the studios they know what they’re getting.
What’s odd about this is that few franchises have had one director to start and then have the franchises finished by one person. Generally the pattern is that either it’s all helmed by one person, or they get different directors for each follow up. This seems to follow the Potter films in that they had one director for the first two films, two different directors for the third and fourth parts, and then settled on David Yates. But at this point franchise continuity is way more important than directorial tone.
Do you think LionsGate is betting on the wrong director?