Emmy-winning 'Game Change' scribe tapped to pen 'Mockingjay'
Fresh off winning two Emmys for writing and co-exec producing HBO’s “Game Change,” Danny Strong has been tapped to write the two-part “Hunger Games” finale “Mockingjay” for Lionsgate, sources tell Variety. Studio had no comment. First pic is skedded for release on Nov. 21, 2014, while the second will open on Nov. 20, 2015. “The Hunger Games” has grossed $685 million worldwide since opening in March. The sequel “Catching Fire,” which Francis Lawrence is directing from a script by Simon Beaufoy, is due out Nov. 22, 2013. Nina Jacobson’s Color Force is producing with Jon Kilik. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones and Donald Sutherland will all return to reprise their roles in “Catching Fire,” which has also added franchise newcomers Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer and Jeffrey Wright. Strong was one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2007 who won a WGA Award for writing HBO’s 2009 telepic “Recount.” “Mockingjay” isn’t the first time Strong has been tapped to adapt a bestselling book finale, as he was also hired to rewrite “The Lost Symbol” for Sony, Imagine Entertainment and director Mark Romanek. Book is a sequel to Dan Brown’s hit thrillers “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons.” Scribe recently wrote “The Butler” for Lee Daniels, and he’s also co-producing that historical drama. Additionally, Strong is writing a legal drama series inspired by a famous father-daughter lawyer duo for CBS, Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Prods. and director David O. Russell. He started his career in front of the camera, with recurring roles on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Gilmore Girls” and most recently, AMC’s “Mad Men.” Strong is repped by CAA, Gotham Group and Jackoway Tyerman.