According to Variety Lionsgate has 19 months to get ‘Catching Fire‘ ready for theaters. To make this release date Lionsgate had planned to start shooting in the late summer with Fox filming the X-Men sequel starting in January 2013. Before Lionsgate can get started it has some key issue to go over:
• It needs to sign a director whose late-summer schedule is open and can immediately begin working with “Slumdog Millionaire” screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who’s still crafting the “Fire” script.
• Though Lionsgate has the franchise’s lead actors (Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson) locked in for the sequels, the stunning perf of “Hunger Games” means the company may feel the need to sweeten their deals — even if it’s not contractually obligated to do so.
• Once a director is on board, he or she needs to cast about two dozen additional actors who were not in “The Hunger Games.” Suzanne Collins’ “Catching Fire” story features a special edition of the Hunger Games every quarter-century in which tributes are “reaped” from the victors of past games. Among the key new characters is Finnick, a combatant in the second book who leads a revolt against the Capitol, and the head Gamemaker in the second book who turns out to be working stealthily for the uprising.
Hopefully Catching Fire is still on track and won’t have to face any delays, but we will just have to wait and see.
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