Francis Lawrence Signs On to Direct 'Hunger Games' Sequel

'I Am Legend' filmmaker will helm 'Catching Fire'

francis lawrence
Francis Lawrence arrives at the 'Water for Elephants' Sydney Premiere. Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Director Francis Lawrence has signed on to direct Catching Fire, the second movie in the Hunger Games series, Deadline Hollywood reports. Lawrence – who has no relation to the movie's star, Jennifer Lawrence – is stepping in after Hunger Games director Gary Ross declined to helm a second film due to tight scheduling.

According to Deadline, Lionsgate had also considered Moneyball director Bennett Miller and Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona, but only Lawrence could work within a timetable that would allow the movie to hit theaters by the fall of next year.

Lawrence is the director of Water for Elephants and I Am Legend, as well as music videos for Britney Spears, Green Day, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez.