The Odds of Directing The Hunger Games Sequel Are Forever in Bennett Miller’s Favor

With Gary Ross out, Lionsgate is making moves to find a director for the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. And, as could have reasonably been expected, they have no shortage of fancy names to choose from. Deadline’s Mike Fleming reports: “Lionsgate met with The Orphanage helmer Juan Antonio Bayona, and … also discussed Attack the Block director Joe Cornish. But Bayona appears to be busy — though he’s not completely out of it — and Cornish didn’t get to the point of a meeting. If I had to guess, I would think the likely candidate to be [Moneyball‘s Bennett] Miller … The sticking point: he wanted to push until spring so he could make Foxcatcher for Fox. Lionsgate wants to start by August and doesn’t want to wait. That could put [I Am Legend director Francis] Lawrence in the driver’s seat. We should know the answer in a matter of days.”

Kind of a drag that Cornish didn’t even get a meeting: Attack the Block was not only awesome, it also featured children in deathly peril (but by wolf-aliens [Ed. note: Ape-aliens? Wolfape-aliens? They were weird. And fluorescent], not the elaborate mandates of a totalitarian society). But landing Bennett Miller would really be something; I mean, this is the man who managed to get Jonah Hill an Oscar nomination. Hopefully he says yes to Lionsgate, although you could understand why he wouldn’t want to pass up Foxcatcher. The true-crime project stars Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell, has been in the works for a while, and, as IndieWire points out, sounds pretty cool: “The story centers on John du Pont (Carell), a stamp-collecting, bird-watching multimillionaire and paranoid schizophrenic who built a wrestling training facility, Team Foxcatcher, on his 800-acre Pennsylvania estate. In 1996, he shockingly murdered Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz, a longtime friend, who du Pont believed (as was discovered during the trial) was part of an international conspiracy to kill him.” But forget all that! There’s no time for it now! Some serious shit goes down in Catching Fire, and we need a director who knows what he’s doing on the job. And can we really trust Francis Lawrence on this one? That guy used to direct J.Lo videos.

Filed Under: Movies, Musical Chairs, The Hunger Games

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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