Director set for 'Catching Fire,' 'Mockingjay'

Lionsgate has hired Francis Lawrence to direct the final two “The Hunger Games” films with Danny Strong writing and Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth starring.

Lawrence is currently directing “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the second movie in the franchise.

Lionsgate decided in July to split “Mockingjay,” the final book in the Suzanne Collins book trilogy, into two parts. That tome centers focus on Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads a rebellion against the ruling Capitol in the dystopian North America of the future as Everdeen is convinced to become “the Mockingjay” as a symbol of the rebellion.

Lionsgate signed Lawrence to direct “Catching Fire” in early May and began shooting the movie starting in September. “The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross ankled the sequel on April 10, citing a “fixed and tight production schedule” as his key reason for exiting.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is playing a key role as head gameskeeper for “Fire.” Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones and Woody Harrelson will return in their roles.

“Catching Fire” will be produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force with producer Jon Kilik and will open Nov. 22, 2013. “Mockingjay Part 1″ opens a year later on Nov. 21 and the final film will be released on Nov. 20, 2015.

The Collider web site first reported the news about Lawrence on Thursday.

Lawrence is represented by CAA.

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