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Lionsgate offers Hunger Games sequel to Francis Lawrence

Catching Fire , the second instalment in the Hunger Games series, may soon have a new director in the shape of I Am Legend 's Francis Lawrence.

In the wake of Gary Ross's abrupt departure, the studio has had to move quickly to find a replacement, with filming scheduled to begin in August ahead of a November 2013 release date.

Their list of candidates was apparently whittled down to a final pair, with Moneyball director Bennett Miller reportedly considered before an offer was made to Lawrence.

One of the factors behind that decision may well have been Miller's availability, given that he is currently prepping Steve Carell drama Foxcatcher ahead of a December start.

Should Lawrence accept the offer, he'll find himself thrown into a ludicrously tight production schedule, with filming having to start in a matter of months in order to ensure Jennifer Lawrence is able to shoot the X-Men: First Class sequel in January.

Time constraints were what eventually led Ross to step down from his position, with the director doubting his ability to live up to the first film under such tight margins. Let's hope Lawrence can pull it out of the bag, should he accept the opportunity…

Catching Fire opens in the UK on 22 November 2013.

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