By Gabrielle Bondi, The Young Folks
The LA Times is reporting that Lionsgate has come up with a list of eight directors that they will like to helm the second installment to the highly successful The Hunger Games. A source close to the LA Times reports that they know of three of the eight directors: Alfonso Cuarón, David Cronenberg, and Alejandro Iñárritu.
The studio has been quickly cobbling together a list of directors who would fit their criteria. According to a source with knowledge of the list who isn’t permitted to speak on the record, Lionsgate needs to find a director with enough credits and accolades to appeal to Collins, who is much more interested in quality filmmaking than box-office prowess. This director also needs to have an even keel; no petulant crybabies allowed. The studio wants to get the sequel, “Catching Fire,” into production by August, and the task will require someone who can wrangle a large ensemble of actors, juggle the demands of a swift schedule and collaborate on a script with Collins and writer Simon Beaufoy.
The master list is seven or eight names long, all men, and all have some significant credits to their name.
It goes without saying that Gary Ross’ decision to not direct Catching Fire came as a surprise, and it looks like Lionsgate is working fast to find a replacement. As a fan, I can definitely say the fandom is in bit of an uproar about who would be the right person to direct Catching Fire, which happens to be my favorite book of the trilogy.
So, who do I think should direct Catching Fire? Well, of the three we know about, Iñárritu is my choice. He’s a Mexican filmmaker that I’ve been following for years. I love his work. You may have seen his movies Babel and Biutiful. Both are fantastic films (and he’s done many other great ones), and without a doubt, I know that this man can bring one of my favorite books to the big screen.
As for the other two contenders we know about, I feel like I can ax Cronenberg right away. While I love Cronenberg and can’t wait for his new film,Cosmopolis, I can’t see him directing Catching Fire. His style and the material don’t seem like they will translate well on screen. In addition, Cronenberg has passed on several big budget projects to work on his own independent films; it’s likely that CF won’t catch his interest.
Most of us know Alfonso Cuarón for directing the the third Potter film. Some love him and some didn’t like what he did with Prisoner of Azkaban. I thought that he did a great job with PoA. It was really a departure from the previous two films and completely elevated the franchise into new territory. Catching Fire doesn’t need any elevating, since The Hunger Games was such a great film. He seems like the most popular choice to direct CF. Yet, I would suggest not getting your hopes up for him, since I think he’s busy with post-production for his upcoming film,Gravity. Any director who takes this job would need start working on it ASAP. However, based on Cuarón’s other films (like Children of Men & Y Tu Mama Tambien), his style would work magnificently with the material in Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. He’s my top choice for the third (and maybe fourth) movie(s).
Nothing is set in stone yet, and I’m curious to see the other five directors on Lionsgate’s shortlist. However, I think this preview of the list is very promising and I’m glad to see that LG is taking this very seriously, thinking about making a great movie, not just another box-office success.
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