It was reported earlier in the week that Francis Lawrence was among a number of names being considered by Lionsgate to direct the sequel to The Hunger Games, titled Catching Fire. Now The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Lawrence has emerged as the studio's choice for the project and will formally be offered the job.
According to the site, Lawrence will officially receive the offer today, but it isn't confirmed whether or not he will actually accept the job as of yet. However, one of the reasons why Lionsgate targeted him in the first place was due to his open schedule, which would be beneficial to the studio considering how quickly Catching Fire is going into production. So the probability of him accepting is very high at this point.
For those of you unfamiliar with Lawrence's work, he is the director behind I Am Legend, Constantine, and Water for Elephants. He has struck a nice balance between action, fantasy, and drama over the years, and that will serve him well with Catching Fire.
This will easily be Lawrence's toughest task yet, though. Not just because he is taking over an established franchise, but because there is substantial pressure on him to pump out a successful film in time for the movie's looming November 22, 2013 release date.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]