After a week-and-a-half of consideration, Lionsgate has decided the director of Water for Elephants is the man to helm their next big film about child-on-child homicide.
The studio is expected to today make a formal offer for Francis Lawrence to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to that very popular Hunger Game movie. According to THR, the final decision came down to Lawrence and busy director Bennett Miller (Moneyball), with Lawrence ultimately winning out largely because of his open schedule. His plan of being the less popular but always available in a pinch friend has worked out again! That's how he gets extra tickets to hockey games, too.
Outside the heavy romance and animal husbandry of Water for Elephants, Lawrence does bring with him some experience on the action front. He directed 2005's Constantine, if you remember Constantine, and followed that up with Will Smith's humanizing journey within the vampire mutant community, I Am Legend. He's also done some TV work, which Lionsgate no doubt hopes will give him some aptitude at meeting tight deadlines--the studio has already scheduled the film for next November, and shooting needs to be done by January so that Jennifer Lawrence can fulfill her obligation of being covered in paint for an X-Men sequel. Plus, Lawrence has special insight into Hunger Games-esque district politics: he directed the music video for "Jenny from the Block," guys.