20 April 2012 1:42 PM, PDT | newsinfilm.com | See recent newsinfilm news »

Francis Lawrence has been chosen to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to Lionsgate’s hit movie The Hunger Games. An official offer went out to Lawrence — no relation to the series’ star Jennifer Lawrence — on Thursday afternoon, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Lawrence’s best movie is Water for Elephants, though he also directed the middling fantasy adaptations I Am Legend and Constantine. However, he’s much more prolific as a music video director. Lawrence has directed over one hundred music videos, including Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and videos for Britney Spears, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith (“Nod Your Head”), and Justin Timberlake (“Cry Me a River”).

Lawrence will have until August to get up to speed, then shooting begins on Catching Fire. Lionsgate has scheduled a cushy November 22, 2013 release, just before Thanksgiving.

Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionare) and the book’s author, Suzanne Collins, co-wrote the screenplay.

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- Jeff Leins

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