The "will he or won't he" game has ended, director Gary Ross completely pulling out of "Catching Fire," the sequel to the successful young adult adaptation "The Hunger Games." The big problem now is finding a director willing to step in on extremely short notice to helm the new movie.
While the production might have some big ideas for the new director, the problem is that shooting has to be finished, at least with Jennifer Lawrence's scenes, by January 2013; that is when the lead actress must begin filming the "X-Men: First Class" sequel. As a result, the new director has to be a hired gun, ready to step in and get moving with little in the way of pre-production planning.
Forgetting about the logistics of the time frame, here are some directors who might be a perfect fit for the material of "Catching Fire," if they can fit it into their schedule.
David Yates already proved how great he is at directing young adult material while giving it the luster and shine needed to lure in adult audiences as well. Yates took over the Harry Potter franchise with "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," finishing the series by directing the final four movies. He also shot quickly, releasing the final three installments in a three-year time period.
Yates can produce, has proved to be a capable action director, and worked well with the young actors in the Potter movies. With "Catching Fire" more of a revolutionary project, leading into a Hunger Games anniversary event, there is a lot more social interaction and drama in the sequel than its predecessor. As Yates proved with the Harry Potter series, he handles character development as well as he does action; the British filmmaker could be the perfect addition to the franchise.
While this might seem like an off-the-wall suggestion, Joe Wright would be perfect for this material. The second book in the series deals with Katniss (Lawrence) going through some tough stuff and having to come out strong at the end to lead into the eventual revolution.
Wright has proved himself as an action filmmaker, directing the magnificent "Hanna" in 2011, with Saoirse Ronan in the lead as a young assassin. However, his work on "Pride & Prejudice" also proved him to be a director capable of handling dramatic scenes of great emotion.
Along with his strengths in action and drama, Wright is one of the most gifted visual directors working today. With the camera work being one of the problems with "The Hunger Games," Wright could bring his talent to making "Catching Fire" even better than the original.
Bringing in the director of "Cloverfield" to helm the second part of "The Hunger Games" trilogy seems strange. However, watching the care and determination Reeves put into directing "Let Me In" shows a talented filmmaker on the rise.
While the kids in "Catching Fire" are older than those in "Let Me In," Reeves showed with that vampire drama a tender hand at quiet scenes and a strong hand at more action-oriented scenes. Add to the fact Reeves is not working on a movie at this time, and he might be the perfect director to step into the project.
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