Francis Lawrence Will Direct The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & Part 2

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A few hours ago, Lionsgate revealed that director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Water for Elephants), who’s currently filming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Georgia, has committed to directing the final two films in the series, Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2.

Gary Ross, who helmed the series’ first film, stepped away from the series over concerns that the films were being produced too quickly. His worries, unfortunately, may be warranted; Lionsgate plans on releasing the final three films within twelve months of each other. Will rushing the films degrade their quality? Will the world be sick of Katniss, Peeta and Gale by then? Honestly, it could go either way. Lawrence is a perfectly capable director who, if unimpeded by studio executives, could pull off something as engaging as Ross. Here’s hoping he is allowed to stretch his creative muscle.

Do you feel producing and releasing the films so close together (a new THG film will be in theaters the following three Novembers) will ultimately damage the series? Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, the only other recent film series pulling something like this off with finesse, was quite successful at the box office; they conceived, shot and finished all three films over the course of eight years, though.

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