29 November 2013 1:23 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Never underestimate producer Nina Jacobson, who once ran production at Disney and knows how to surround herself with smart people, from "Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins to indie producer Jon Kilik. It wasn't easy to turn Suzanne Collins' first book in her "Hunger Games" trilogy into a global blockbuster, nor was it easy to navigate through the departure of director Gary Ross to find his replacement, Francis Lawrence, amid a change of management at the studio, Lionsgate. But Jacobson carefully steered the $140-million "Catching Fire" to its takeoff last weekend, when it broke records, and is soaring into the holiday stratosphere. We spoke on the phone during a break on her breathless round of premieres around the world in London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Paris, La and New York. Anne Thompson: How did you manage to take this movie through a departing director? Nina JacobsonSimon Beaufoy ["Slumdog Millionaire"] was writing for Gary Ross, »

- Anne Thompson

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