In a new article, The Wall Street Journal is taking a look at where Lionsgate is right now with the Hunger Games franchise. The article reveals that Lionsgate is close to a deal with Francis Lawrence for Catching Fire, discusses Suzanne Collins’ close involvement with the Catching Fire script, and reveals that Lionsgate is looking at August/September to release The Hunger Games DVD.
On the ‘Catching Fire‘ director:
For “Catching Fire,” now in preproduction and expected to hit theaters in fall 2013, Lions Gate—also known as Lionsgate—lost the director of the first film, Gary Ross, who issued a statement earlier this month saying he couldn’t work on the studio’s time table.
Lions Gate, which said at the time that it was sorry Mr. Ross had chosen not to direct the film, is now close to a deal with Francis Lawrence, whose previous projects include “I Am Legend” and “Constantine,” according to people familiar with the matter.
On the ‘Catching Fire‘ script:
One issue that is under control: All the primary “Hunger Games” cast members are signed up for the entire four-film series, so none are likely to follow Mr. Ross to the exit.
But the studio has yet to finalize a script, now being written by “Slumdog Millionaire” writer Simon Beaufoy. The author of the series, Suzanne Collins, will have input, as she did with the script for the first film.
“I would call it a collaborative effort,” said Rob Friedman, Lions Gate motion picture group co-chair, referring to Ms. Collins’s participation. “Suzanne has always been very, very involved.”
On ‘The Hunger Games‘ DVD:
The studio will also rely on the DVD release of “The Hunger Games” to fuel anticipation for “Catching Fire,” a strategy it credits with helping make the second “Twilight” film an even bigger success than the first. Due to the first film’s exceptional box office performance, the studio is considering pushing the DVD release to five months after its theatrical opening, as opposed to the usual four-month window, according to people familiar with the matter. That time frame would also allow it to take advantage of back-to-school momentum in the retail environment.
You can read the rest of the article at The Wall Street Journal.