Now comes word that two more names are being added to the short list of directors.
Deadline has word that Lionsgate has met with The Orphanage helmer Juan Antonio Bayona and Attack The Block director Joe Cornish to discuss the possibility of directing Catching Fire. Of course, if either of them were to direct the sequel to The Hunger Games, they would have to clear scheduling conflicts - to ensure the overall quality of the film.
The site reports that even though Bayona - who is completing work on The Impossible starring Ewan McGregor - appears to be busy, he should not be considered out of the running. As for Cornish, it sounds as though Lionsgate was considering the director as a candidate to replace Ross, but the Attack the Block helmer has yet to get an actual meeting. Maybe because he's hard at work behind the scenes on the long-awaited Ant-Man film.
As a result, despite a new pair of names, it's still a guessing game. Reportedly, despite a busy schedule and choosy personality, Miller is interested in Catching Fire - and would be a front-runner for the position. That said, based on the information available to us at this point, he's hardly a lock - given that the similarities between Moneyball and Catching Fire don't exactly leap off the page. Furthermore, Miller wants to push the start date for Catching Fire until the spring, so that he can make the true crime drama Foxcatcher for Fox. However, Lionsgate is eyeing an August start date for Catching Fire and, considering The Hunger Games' now $533 million global haul so far, does not want to wait. As a result, assuming that Miller is Lionsgate's first pick - the director would likely have to choose between projects.
Despite the fact he's yet to get a meeting, I really like the idea of Cornish directing Catching Fire. We know that the director is capable of mixing fun and exciting action with memorable characters - a skill that will be an absolute necessity for any Catching Fire helmer. He's definitely not a front runner - but who knows what will happen in the event that Miller chooses Foxcatcher. Bayona is certainly the lesser-known of the listed names but he's a well-respected director and, more than anyone else on the list, could probably fit into the schedule that Lionsgate has laid out.
Depending on how talks go with the perspective directors, we could have an official name within the week - or not. In the meantime, you can check out our 5 Good Replacement Directors for the Hunger Games Sequel feature to see if your favorite choice made the list.
Catching Fire is scheduled to open in theaters on November 22, 2013