Nicole Sperling at the L.A. Times – who was, remember, the first person to name directors being considered for “Catching Fire” – reports that Lionsgate is down to two final candidates: Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence. (Those names were first reported by the Playlist.) She reports that Lionsgate could offer one of them the job by the end of the week.
Interestingly, she mentions three other names that the studio considered for the job: Tomas Alfredson, Tony Scott and Stephen Daldry. Those names join the three contenders Sperling first reported last week: Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Now, these are all people that were considered for the job, which is not the same thing as those directors discussing or even expressing any interest in the job. The studio putting David Cronenberg or Stephen Daldry on a short list of potential directors doesn’t even mean those guys were directly contacted by Lionsgate (they likely contacted agents/representatives to gauge interest and see about availability, which is not the same thing as bringing David Cronenberg in to discuss the film). Still, it’s an interesting mix of names and it shows that Lionsgate was aiming fairly high for a guaranteed blockbuster with a compressed production schedule.
The fact that it’s come down to Miller and Lawrence isn’t surprising. As I said yesterday, those two names were both realistic, sensible choices for this job. Lawrence might have the edge due to scheduling: He’s available, whereas Miller’s drama “Foxcatcher” is scheduled to begin production in October. “Catching Fire” has to film this fall, so unless Miller can or will delay “Foxcatcher,” it looks like Lawrence might be the more likely pick.
Anyway, we’ll know the answer soon enough, so I guess I can stop speculating.