Talks of who should direct Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, started long before it was even rumored that director Gary Ross wouldn’t be returning. So now that Ross has confirmed that he won’t be returning to direct the sequel, a short list of directors to helm Catching Fire has emerged – and it reveals that we could be in store for quite a sequel.

In the past few days since Ross relieved himself of duties as a director, Lionsgate has been compiling a list of names that they believe would fit their criteria. 24 Frames spoke to an anonymous source over at the studio, who says that “Lionsgate needs to find a director with enough credits and accolades to appeal to (Suzanne) Collins, who is much more interested in quality filmmaking than box-office prowess.”

Though the site mentions that the list is seven to eight names long, they put the spotlight on names such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron, Eastern Promises director Daivd Cronenberg, and Babel and Bitiful director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

I honestly can’t think of a better group of names that are more interested in the quality of filmmaking than box-office numbers. In addition, the three names mentioned in the article all have experience working with dark material. It would seem easy to point the finger at Cuaron, given that he was the one who directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban after Chris Columbus left the franchise. Cuaron is currently working on the sci-fi thriller Gravity, which is said to have an amazing 17 minute opening shot.

The site mentions that Cronenberg has been approached to direct many blockbuster movies, but frequently turns them down to direct more independent projects. So don’t be shocked to hear if he takes himself out of the running.

Inarritu would be a very interesting choice. Babel had four interlinking stories that explored the themes of sexuality and language barriers. But his Bitiful told the story of a dying man’s attempts to make amends. Both are far cries from the themes of rebellion and violence seen in Catching Fire. But both were also dark in their own ways.

One has to wonder who the four or five other names on the list are (could they names off our own list of promising Catching Fire directors?), but based on the three names already mentioned in this article, its pretty safe to say that Lionsgate is looking in the right direction. But they will have to work quickly, because they want to start the production of Catching Fire as soon as August.

Source: 24 Frames