While hit novel-to-film adaptations like Harry Potter and Twilight tapped a host of different directors for their respective series, the producers of The Hunger Games are sticking with one filmmaker for their remainder instalments.
Film, TV and music video director Francis Lawrence — currently working on the second Hunger Games film Catching Fire — has signed on to helm the dystopian tale's two-part finale Mockingjay as well.
Gary Ross directed the first instalment The Hunger Games, adapted from Suzanne Collins' bestselling young-adult novel trilogy. Despite its success — the teen-oriented thriller surpassed $600 million US at the worldwide box office — Ross decided against returning to the blockbuster series, citing the tight production schedule for the next film.
Lawrence, no relation to series star Jennifer Lawrence, stepped into the director's chair for Catching Fire earlier this spring.
The Hunger Games revolves around a young heroine named Katniss Everdeen and her place in a growing rebellion against the corrupt, tyrannical regime leading her country.
Catching Fire is slated to hit theatres Nov. 22, 2013. Mockingjay Part One is expected to follow in November 2014, with Part Two set for release in November 2015.
Top video director
The Vienna-born Lawrence is most recently known for directing and producing genre projects that tackle alternate realities or deal with apocalyptic themes, including movies like I Am Legend and Constantine as well as the recent TV series Kings and Touch. He also directed the romance Water for Elephants.
However, he built up his reputation as a Grammy Award-winning director of music videos. His lengthy resumé includes memorable videos for a long list of chart-topping artists, including Lady Gaga (Bad Romance), Britney Spears (I'm a Slave 4 U), Aerosmith (I Don't Want to Miss a Thing), Justin Timberlake (Cry Me a River) and Jennifer Lopez (Waiting for Tonight).
He's also directed videos for some of Canada's top female singers, including Avril Lavigne (Sk8er Boi), Nelly Furtado (I'm Like a Bird), Sarah McLachlan (Adia) and Alanis Morissette (Hands Clean).