“I Am Legend” director Francis Lawrence will be offered the director's seat for “Catching Fire” after Gary Ross’ departure
"The Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire" has found a director, a little more than a week after "Hunger Games" writer/director Gary Ross bowed out of the project.
Lionsgate is preparing to make an offer to Francis Lawrence, who helmed "I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants," to direct the second installment of the "Hunger Games" franchise.
Lawrence is currently filming the TV movie "Gotham," and lensed the pilot for Fox's Kiefer Sutherland drama "Touch."
Ross dropped out of the project last week, citing time constraints.
"As a writer and a director, I simply don't have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule," Ross said in a statement.
Lionsgate added that it regretted Ross' decision.
"We were really looking forward to making the movie with him," the studio said. "He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work."
"The Hunger Games" has dominated the box office since its March 23 release, amassing a global take of more than $500 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
"Catching Fire" is scheduled for a November 2013 release.