Tag Archives: Lions Gate Entertainment

Lionsgate announces Jena Malone as Johanna in Catching Fire

Jena Malone (Image via Hypable)

After Josh Hutcherson’s slip-up during the Teen Choice Awards, Lionsgate announced Jena Malone as Johanna in Catching Fire.  Malone was in Sucker Punch and Pride & Prejudice. 

“Johanna Mason, a female victor from a past Games still in her early twenties, is one of the youngest, but also one of the most psychologically scarred Hunger Games participants,” Lionsgate writes.

What do you think of the casting? Leave a comment below. Don’t forget that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit theaters on November 22nd, 2013.

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Amanda Plummer to play Wiress in ‘Catching Fire’


Lionsgate has casted Amanda Plummer as Wiress in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is set to be in theaters on November 22nd, 2013.

“The character’s eccentricity earns her the nickname “Nuts” from fellow tributes, and though she doesn’t communicate traditionally, her observations and contributions prove invaluable in the Quarter Quell,”

Amanda is known for her roles in Pulp Fiction and The Fisher King, and the upcoming film Abigail Harms. She was won a Tony Award for Broadway.

What do you think of the casting?



Lionsgate announces release dates for ‘Mockingjay’ Parts 1 and 2

Lionsgate, the studio behind The Hunger Games and the 2013 film Catching Fire, has announced the release dates for Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2.

They announced that Part 1 will hit theaters on November 21st, 2014 and Part 2 on November 20th, 2015. In case your forgot, Catching Fire will be in theaters on November 23rd, 2013.

That gives each movie one year for production. 2015 feels so far away!

What do you think of these release dates? What do you think about Mockingjay being split in two? Personally, I believe that Catching Fire should have been split in two instead.

Micheal Arndt may rewrite Catching Fire script

Micheald Arndt holding his Oscar (Image via Hypable)

All though the Catching Fire script’s draft was completed in March 2012, it appears that Micheal Arndt, who wrote Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine, is talking with Lionsgate to rewrite the script.

Simon Beaufoy (of Slumdog Millionaire) won the rights to write Catching Fire back in January 2011. In March we found out that Suzanne Collins was reading over the script.

The sequel is barreling towards a late summer production start. While Lionsgate doesn’t yet have a deal with Arndt, if he signs on, he will have to work double-time to get the script ready due to a squeezed schedule caused by star Jennifer Lawrence’s commitment to Fox’s X-Men: First Class sequel. (That tight schedule was one reason why Ross declined to take on the project.)

-Heat Vision

Why do you think this could be? Leave a comment below with you thoughts.

Francis Lawrence, now the official director of Catching Fire.

Francis Lawrence signs contract with Lionsgate for Catching Fire

Francis Lawrence, now the official director of Catching Fire.

Today, Lionsgate made it all official, and signed a contract with Francis Lawrence to direct Catching Fire.

Below is the official Press Release.

LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that Francis Lawrence has officially signed on to direct CATCHING FIRE, the sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES, based on the second in a series of books by Suzanne Collins that has 36 million copies in circulation in the US alone.  The announcement was made by Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman.

Lawrence, who is represented by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment, has experience directing films that make him uniquely suited to handle the blend of character driven drama and high stakes action of CATCHING FIRE; among them are I AM LEGEND, CONSTANTINE, and WATER FOR ELEPHANTS.

“Lionsgate, the cast, and filmmakers are all thrilled to have Francis Lawrence come on board as director of Catching Fire.  Suzanne’s brilliant book is the intense story of the birth of the rebellion and Katniss’ emotionally charged journey as she takes on the mantle of the Mockingjay, and we all think Francis is the perfect director to bring the story to life,” said Erik Feig, Lionsgate’s President Of Production.

“From the very beginning of this brilliant trilogy’s journey from page to screen, our first priority has been to stay true to the heart and soul of Suzanne Collins’ powerful stories. From my first conversation with Francis, I knew he would make a great partner for both me and Suzanne.   His passion for Catching Fire and inspired ideas for a faithful adaptation make him the perfect director for this movie.  I know this will be a wonderful collaboration and I cannot wait to get started,” echoed producer Nina Jacobson.

Said Francis, “It is truly an honor and a privilege to bring Catching Fire, the second chapter of Suzanne’s beloved trilogy, to the big screen. I fell in love with the characters, the themes and the world she created and this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way. I can’t wait to dive right into it and bring this chapter to life along with the truly superb cast and filmmakers involved.”

Lionsgate has also made a comment directly to the fans as well.

“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!”

I can;t wait to see what Lawrence makes of my personal, favorite book in the Hunger Games Trilogy.

Gary Ross (Image via The Hollywood Reporter)

Official: Gary Ross says he will NOT direct Catching Fire

Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, announced that he will not direct the sequel to the Blockbuster film. (Image via The Hollywood Reporter)

We have some sad (or maybe for some of you… Happy) news to share. Gary Ross has gone out and said that he will not be directing Catching Fire. He announced this after meeting with Lionsgate yesterday.

Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.

I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.

To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.

-Gary Ross

Lionsgate has also issued a small statement as well. All though they seem to be calm about Ross not directing the movie, a Lionsgate insider says that Lionsgate was expecting the news to break any day now.

We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.


Some of the cast of The Hunger Games have given some thoughts on Ross not directing the sequel.

“One thing about Gary is, he can do everyone’s job better than you can,” Ludwig told E!. “It’s an honor working with such a talented director. He is an unbelievable guy and an actor’s director, which is amazing…. Nobody could really do what Gary did. I honestly believe that 100 percent.”

-Alexander Ludwig (Cato) via E! Online 

“That makes me so sad,” she said. “I’m sorry, I can’t move on yet. I’m still in mourning. I don’t know that anyone else could bring it to life the way that he did.”

-Jacqueline Emerson (Foxface)

Dayo Okeniyi, who played Thresh, gave some suggestions on who could possibly direct the sequel.

“I’d like to see a David Fincher Catching Fire or Darren Aronofsky,” he said. “I think he’d be amazing for the second movie. Be a little bit edgier, darker.”

WHo do you think should direct Catching Fire?

Image via Magnae Famae Archives

‘Gary Ross is the only one to direct Catching Fire’ -Josh Hutcherson

Image via Magnae Famae Archives

Josh Hutcherson (Peeta from The Hunger Games), says that Hunger Games director Gary Ross is the only person he would want to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to the blockbuster film.

When asked who should take over directing duties for Catching Fire, Hutcherson answered diplomatically: “I think Gary’s the man. Gary is in my mind is the only one that could ever direct the second one. That’s what I’m sticking to.”

-Heat Vision

Do you agree with Hutcherson? Or do you have another director in mind that could pull this off? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.


Gary Ross will not direct Catching Fire

I have some disappointing (to me), news to share. Gary Ross, director of the extremely successful Hunger Games, will not be directing Catching Fire. Ross notified Lionsgate earlier this week, but we just received the news online.

The Playlist has learned that Gary Ross has officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel, formally giving Lionsgate and Summit his notice earlier this week, that he will not be coming back.


I wrote in my article on how Catching Fire should be split into two movies, that I believe Lionsgate would be wise to continue with Gary Ross, yesterday.

This is surprising because Gary Ross was speaking about his plans for Catching Fire earlier. Hopefully Gary Ross will continue to be involved in some way with Catching Fire.

When Lionsgate comments, it will be posted here at Magnae Famae.