After wrapping "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire", Francis Lawrence will reprise his directing role for the last two movies in "The Hunger Games" film franchise, Lionsgate Films confirms. The studio announced Thursday, November 1 that it had sealed Lawrence for both "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2".
The "Water for Elephants" helmer is still filming the second installment in the film series adapted from Suzanne Collins' bestselling novels. He replaces Gary Ross, the director of the first movie who bowed out the franchise less than a month after the blockbuster flick was released Stateside on March 23 this year.
The two "Mockingjay" flicks follow Katniss Everdeen's journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. When the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, the heroine must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.
The first part of the final chapter of "Hunger Games" will be released in theaters across the nation on November 21, 2014, while the second part will make its way out Stateside on November 20 a year later. Before that, "Catching Fire" will grace theaters everywhere next year on November 22 with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth returning as Katniss, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne respectively.