Francis Lawrence Confirmed for Two-Part 'Hunger Games' Finale 'Mockingjay'

Mockingjay

Francis Lawrence hasn't even gotten the first Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, into theaters yet, but he must be having fun with the franchise.

With a little over a year to go before The Hunger Games: Catching Fire debuts on November 22, 2013, Lionsgate has announced that Lawrence will remain behind the cameras for the two-part finale, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (due November 21, 2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (due November 20, 2015).

Lawrence took over the series from director Gary Ross, who departed after the first film, citing the studio's onerously tight timetable as a major constraint. He's no stranger to big-budget pictures, having helmed I Am Legend and Constantine -- and his work with pachyderms on Water for Elephants was doubtless effective training for trying to rein in The Hunger Games' young cast.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence as the driven young heroine Katniss Everdeen, the first Hunger Games film debuted to strong reviews and healthy box office grosses when it bowed last year, racking up over $686 million worldwide during its theatrical run in the spring of 2012.

In the press release announcing the move, Lionsgate described the Mockingjay movies by saying they "make up the third and fourth installments of heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance."

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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