Francis Lawrence Signs On to Direct 'Hunger Games' Sequel

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

Francis Lawrence arrives at the 'Water for Elephants' Sydney Premiere. Credit: 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.