HeatVision has official word from Lionsgate that Jena Melone (Sucker Punch, Hatfields & McCoys) has landed the role of tribute Johanna Mason in Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
There is breaking news via Variety that an offer from Lionsgate has gone out to Philip Seymour Hoffman (MI3, Boogie Nights, Big Lebowski, The Master) for the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire. The Hunger Games sequel has Francis Lawrence set to direct this summer with a release date of November 22nd 2013.
Lionsgate can give a sigh of relief has they’ve officially set Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) to direct the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Even more impressive is that the fall shoot won’t be changed and things are going along as originally planned before Gary Ross exited. 20th Century Fox must be happy with the news as Jennifer Lawrence will be headed right into production on the X-Men First Class right after Catching Fire wraps. There had been concerns that if Fire didn’t start in the fall, Jennifer would be whisked away by Fox. As the studio already pushed production on First Class 2 from the fall to January 2013 giving Jennifer enough time to make Catching Fire.
HeatVision reports that Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) has been offered the directing gig for the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Production on the film is expected to start as soon as August to meet the November 2013 release date. ThePlaylist had originally reported that Lionsgate was down to Lawrence and Bennett Miller (Moneyball). Other directors that ended up in the mix included Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Let The Right One In), Joe Cornish (Attack The Block), Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre) and Antonio Bayona (The Orphange).
It will be interesting to see what the franchise will look like with Francis calling the shots. While he’s had success with I Am Legend his other films including Constantine and Water For Elephants didn’t impress audiences. He does have a better grasp at digital effects than Gary Ross but some of films have used some terribly unimaginative creature designs such as the vampires in I Am Legend.
Deadline reports that we’ll be seeing an Air Force One reunion of sorts with the thriller Paranoia. Harrison Ford (Cowboys And Aliens, Ender’s Game) and Gary Oldman (Motor City, Dark Knight Rises) have joined Liam Hemsworth (Hunger Games, Expendables 2) in the film from director Robert Luketic. Details on the espionage thriller aren’t known but will involve two dueling telecom giants.
Luketic is responsible for train-wreck comedies like Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!, Monster-In-Law, The Ugly Truth and Killers. However, moving into a different genre could be a career resurrection for the director. I won’t be holding my breath this film will anything more than average at best. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a casting change up in the coming months.