Lionsgate is fast tracking the search for a new director to replace Gary Ross in "Catching Fire". Los Angeles Times' 24 Frames reports that the studio is eyeing several credible filmmakers, who are able to shepherd the prestigious project. Among those who are mentioned in the mix is Alfonso Cuaron, who helmed 2004's blockbuster pic "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".
Words are, Lionsgate is "basically hoping to re-create the 'Harry Potter' moment" with Cuaron. In addition to the "Prizoner of Azkaban" helmer, such directors as David Cronenberg and Alejandro Gonzales Inarrity are said to be included on the list. Those filmmakers are known for their dark-toned indie movies rather than commercial hits.
A source with knowledge of Lionsgate's wish list reveals that there are about seven or eight male directors with some significant credits who are considered for the big project. The studio is looking for a moviemaker who is able to handle a large ensemble of actors, as well as juggle the demand of a swift schedule. Most importantly, he must be able to collaborate on a script with author Suzanne Collins and writer Simon Beaufoy.
"Catching Fire" is facing a trouble since Ross surprisingly decided to exit "The Hunger Games" film franchise. On Tuesday, April 10, the "Seabiscuit" helmer confirmed that he has bowed out of the big franchise as explaining, "I don't have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule."
Since the much-talked-about sequel is scheduled to kick off filming in August, Lionsgate must choose a new director soon. The studio has also set a November 22, 2013 U.S. release for the follow-up movie, which will bring back Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorn respectively.
As for director Cuaron, he jumped into blockbuster genre with the third "Harry Potter" movie in 2004, which is the only installment in the wizard boy film series that he directed. The Mexican filmmaker later worked on some passion projects, including "Children of Men" and "Gravity".