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'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Director Returning for Two-Part 'Mockingjay'

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Nov 01, 2012 | 9:43am EDT

ALTThe Hunger Games franchise sure does love its Lawrences. 

Lionsgate is calling on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence again to helm the two-part finale, Mockingjay. Lawrence, who is currently filming Catching Fire with the cast and crew (including fellow Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, pictured) "will then presumably set to work immediately on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2." 

Lawrence took over director duties from Gary Ross — who helped propel 2011's The Hunger Games to a $686 million intake at the worldwide box office — after tight scheduling conflicts caused Ross to pass on the opportunity to film the follow-ups. When it came to choosing a director for Catching Fire, Lawrence bested the likes of David CronenbergAlfonso Cuaron Alejandrom and Gonzalez Inarritu

Lawrence, whose visions of a ravaged landscape was pulled off with flying colors in films like I Am Legend and Constantine and knows a thing or two about working with franchise heartthrobs (see: Robert Pattinson in Water For Elephants), must have impressed Lionsgate. 

Still, there will be some tonal changes behind the scenes from Catching Fire to Mockingjay. While Oscar-winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) penned the Catching Fire script, Emmy-winner Danny Strong (Game Change) is taking on writing duties for the decidedly darker, and divisive, conclusion. Catching Fire is slated to arrive in theaters by November 22, 2013.  Part 1 of Mockingjay is scheduled for November 21, 2014, while Part 2 is set for November 20, 2015. 

Additional reporting by Matt Patches. 

[Photo Credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate]

More: 

Catching Fire: Why Director Francis Lawrence Is the Man for the Job

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