It looks like Lionsgate has chosen their director to replace Gary Ross for The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. The weight of the film has fallen on the shoulders of I Am Legend and Constantine director Francis Lawrence, but he wasn't the studios first choice.
According to Deadline they originally wanted Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) to do it, but he ended up not being able to. They then went to Moneyball director Bennett Miller, but because of a previous directing gig he needed the production of the film to be pushed back to be able do it. Lionsgate wouldn't push it back because they want to get the movie into production this coming August. Lawrence was their third choice, and his schedule is wide open. He can get started on the project right away and that was important to the studio.
The main reason Lionsgate is trying to rush the sequel into production is because the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, is also wanted for the sequel to X-Men: First Class. If Fox wanted to, they could enforce an option for the actress to make the second film. Lionsgate wants to get their film into production before something like that happens.
The last movie that Lawrence made was Water For Elephants. He hasn't made any terrible films in his career, which began with directing music videos. For the most part, I've enjoyed what he's done, and I think he'll end up doing a fine job adapting Catching Fire for the big screen. In the end, I don't think it matters who directs the film, fans are still going to flock to see the movie. What are your thought's on Lawrence directing the movie?