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‘Catching Fire’ director: Is it an impossible job? [poll]

April 11, 2012 |  3:32 pm

Director Gary Ross

It won’t be easy finding a new director for “Catching Fire.” The eligible candidate need not only be available on very short notice, but he or she needs to be an accomplished hand who won’t cause too much trouble and kill Lionsgate’s golden goose.

Said director should also be willing to work for a comparatively small sum, since it’s unlikely Lionsgate will back up the Brinks truck for the last-minute gig. (So, basically, that rules out Keith Olbermann.)

Taking on "The Hunger Games” sequel is a dream job in some ways — it’s the rare director that goes into preproduction knowing their movie will be seen by tens of millions of people no matter what they do.

On the other hand, “Catching Fire” is a movie that, well, will be seen by tens of millions of people no matter what they do. That means the new director could wind up with a very high profile failure -- and on a movie that wasn’t even their fault, since they: a) wouldn’t have developed the film b) didn’t have a lot of time to make it. In some ways, it's the cinematic equivalent of football’s placekick holder — you probably won’t get a lot of credit, but you can easily become the goat.

Bloggers have tossed around a number of names for the gig (and we don't count Danny Boyle or Martin Scorsese -- they have, like, other things going on). Among the more realistic possibilities: “Let Me In” helmer Matt Reeves (who’s done genre coming-of-age), “Warrior” and “Miracle” filmmaker Gavin O’Connor (known for pulse-racing but still character-driven action); "Source Code's" Duncan Jones (who collaborated with the people who currently run Lionsgate on another futuristic thriller) and “Winter’s Bone” director Debra Granik (who already made a gritty story with Jennifer Lawrence).

The Ross wounds are still too fresh for any of the speculation to mean much. But included below are those names, and a few others executives could conceivably look at. Vote in our poll for which one you’d most like to see take the reins. And "None of the above" works, too. Hey, it suited Gary Ross.


'Catching Fire:' Can changing directors work?

"Hunger Games": Gary Ross won't direct "Catching Fire"

"Hunger Games" tops $300 million at box office

"The Hunger Games": Five lessons from its box-office success

Movie review: "The Hunger Games"

"Hunger Games": Jennifer Lawrence reaps praise from critics

Box Office: "Hunger Games" beats record with $155-million opening weekend

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Garry Ross as "The Hunger Games" premiere in Berlin. Credit: Britta Pedersen / EPA