May 06, 2012

Catching Fire 101 - the Director - A Closer Look at Francis Lawrence

We are saddened to know that Gary Ross won't make it to the next chapter of our journey. However, it doesn't mean that it's the end already. So now let's get to know more about Francis Lawrence, who will direct the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, which will set the world on fire this November 22, 2013.

Fun facts about Francis Lawrence. Thanks to Vanity Fair.

Sign: Aries

Hometown: Los Angeles (after moving from Austria at the age of three)

Film Pedigree: Since graduating from film school at Loyola Marymount, Lawrence has directed three feature films: Constantine (2005), I Am Legend (2007), and Water for Elephants (2011).

Biggest Budget/Box-Office Success: I Am Legend, the Will Smith sci-fi drama, which reportedly had a $150 million budget and grossed more than $585 million worldwide.

Music-Video Career: Before breaking into the film industry, Lawrence directed more than 60 music videos for artists including Justin Timberlake (“Cry Me a River”), Britney Spears (“I’m a Slave 4 U”), Jennifer Lopez (“Jenny from the Block”), and Beyoncé (“Run the World”). In 2011, he won a Grammy for directing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video.


Commercial Résumé: Coca-Cola, Calvin Klein, Maybelline, Bud Light, and many more.

Oscar-Winning Praise: In 2005, Academy Award–winning A Beautiful Mind screenwriter Akiva Goldsman said of Lawrence, “Contrary to what you might expect about Francis’ background, he’s a very story-oriented and very character-oriented fellow.”

A Vote of Confidence from Reese Witherspoon (speaking of Water for Elephants, in which she starred): “. . . it’s a big undertaking, in taking on a very popular novel and having to tell a story with scenes that have no words. Film is a very visual medium, and I think he did an incredible job with that. Some of my favorite scenes in the film are ones where we don’t speak at all. We’re just seeing each other, from a distance. I think he told the story beautifully, in that capacity, and really chose those moments well.”

How the Los Angeles Times Described Lawrence: “A young, hipster version of Kirk Douglas.”

Josh Hutcherson’s Thoughts on Lawrence: “[He’s] extremely talented. . . . I think we’re going to make a good movie nevertheless and I’m excited to see what Francis brings to the table.”

How to Contact Lawrence with Your Own Suggestions: Through the official Hunger Games Facebook account.

Francis Lawrence’s Thoughts on Catching Fire (per a Facebook message to fans today): “Hello fellow Hunger Games fans! I just want you all to know how unbelievably excited and honored I am to be a part of Catching Fire. At the end of the day, all of the work that I put in to my movies is for you—the fans. Make sure to post and let me know what you’re most excited to see in this adaptation as we aim to make something truly faithful and spectacular!” —Francis Lawrence

Ready or not, Catching Fire is scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 22, 2013.