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Catching Fire’s Francis Lawrence Signs On to Direct Mockingjay

Lionsgate doesn’t want a repeat of the director drama it had with The Hunger Games the first time around.

Gary Ross, who helmed the wildly popular adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ young-adult novel, stepped aside due to problems with the quick turnaround for the sequel Catching Fire. The studio quickly hired Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) to take on the project and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he has officially signed on to helm Mockingjay, which will be split into two films Deathly Hollows-style.

Lawrence is shooting Catching Fire in Atlanta with a cast that will carry over into the third and fourth installments: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson.

The last book in the trilogy finds star Katniss Everdeen leading the Panem districts in rebellion against The Capital. Mockingjay Part 1 will debut Nov. 21, 2014, with Part 2 scheduled for Nov. 20, 2015.

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