The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were not the only box office behemoths in the last year. The Hunger Games took the world by storm back in March raking in over $650 Million globally. That’s number that might seem quaint compared to Joss Whedon’s big budget nerd-gasem, but contextually it’s a massive hit on a surprising scale.
So all eyes are now on its sequel which is about to begin filming, and one of the major new characters has just be cast. Most people probably do not know the name Sam Claflin, but he has been in a few big budget blockbusters and now is primed to take the next step into wide-spread recognition, by taking on the role of Finnick Odair.
Claflin was a bit of an afterthought in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, but he actually turned in an impressive performance in Snow White and the Huntsman, so much so that some people actually liked his character more than Hemsworth’s Huntsman. Now he has a chance to turn heads in a film that will no doubt be a cultural event when it is released.
Hopefully this casting is another in the long line of impressive casting decisions so far in the series, managing to get good actors not just pretty faces like another sparkly franchise that has been popular lately.
Keep an eye on The Flickcast for any new Hunger Games news bits as the anticipated sequel heads towards production.
If you can forgive us the headline long enough for us to tell you the news, we would appreciate it. The search for a director to take on the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire after Gary Ross decided to walk away is over.
The man Lionsgate has chosen to take up the torch and continue the blockbuster franchise is Francis Lawrence. Lawrence won the coveted gig after after other directors like Moneyball helmer Bennett Miller had to drop out due to a scheduling problem.
According to the report, he was always a top pick for Lionsgate but his deal finalized when others such as Miller had to drop out of contention. Additionally, Lawrence can get started right away so the film can get into production before star Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) has to head back to the Marvel Universe and suit up for the sequel to X-Men: First Class.
In case you can’t place the director’s name, his previous credits include Water For Elephants, I Am Legend and Constantine as well as music videos for Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Green Day. So, he’s got some directing chops as we like at least two of his movies (no, not the one with RPat).
So, with the sequel to Hunger Games now seemingly on track, look for it to arrive in theaters late in 2013.
The Hunger Games is a certified mega success. It made a metric ton of bank at the box office and feels like it is only just beginning it’s reign in the limelight. So it seemed like a forgone conclusion that director Gary Ross would continue forth with the franchise and tackle the next installment. Not so fast.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the negotiations are in a rocky place:
Sources say Ross, 55, would like a significant raise for a secondHunger Games, but Lionsgate didn’t kick off negotiations with him until about three weeks before the first film’s March 23 opening. By then, with tracking suggesting a huge opening weekend, Ross and his CAA reps were in no hurry to bargain.
Lionsgate has a script from Simon Beaufoy that Ross has yet to revise. The studio is in a rush to start the next film in the fall, though Fox might upset Lionsgate’s plan by exercising its option on Lawrence to start another X-Men movie first. (Fox’s option would trump Lionsgate’s hold on Lawrence, say sources.) Adding urgency: Lionsgate already has booked a November 2013 release for Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Lionsgate has it’s hands full in juggling the stars and the schedule to make sure Catching Fire hits cinemas in November 2013, so Gary Ross better be careful and not negotiate himself right out of the movie. He deserves a payday for the massive hit he made the first film, but lots of franchises are doing just fine with a rotating director carousel these days.