3 May 2012 10:37 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Well, it's officially official. Two weeks after he got the offer, and everyone assumed he was going to do it anyway, Lionsgate has formally announced that Francis Lawrence will be directing "The Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire."

The director takes over for Gary Ross who departed the franchise nearly a month ago, leading to a short but intensive search for a helmer to grab the reins that included names like David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Tomas Alfredson, Joe Cornish, Duncan Jones, Cary Fukunaga and Juan Antonio Bayona all being tossed around. But in Lawrence, the studio has landed someone who is at ease with big effects and scale, having helmed films like "Constantine" and "I Am Legend," and he can do character stuff too as evidence by "Water For Elephants." The big question is whether or not the sequel will feature any major aethestic changes (many fans complained »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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