Catching Fire Director Francis Lawrence: 5 Signs He’ll Do Right By Hunger Games Sequel

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We’re not completely recovered from the loss of Gary Ross as director of The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, due to scheduling constraints (they say). But last night we learned that Lionsgate has decided to hand the reins over to Francis Lawrence, the director of Water for Elephants and I Am Legend, and we are starting to calm down a little bit. No, he doesn’t have the Oscar-nominee pedigree as Ross. And none of his movies have received the kind of critical raves that Ross’ Seabiscuit and Pleasantville did. But his resume, which also includes a ton of amazing music videos (for everyone from Aerosmith to Justin Timberlake to Lady Gaga), contains some solid reassurance that he’ll be able to hold his own with Catching Fire.

1. He can do post-apocalyptic settings. See: I Am Legend.

2. He can do strong ladies wearing amazing costumes in post-apocalyptic settings. See: Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls).”

3. He can do weird, futuristic settings for the Capitol. See: Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

4. He can work with all kinds of animals, so the monkey scenes will rule. He also has experience with trains (for Katniss and Peeta’s tour through the districts). See: Water for Elephants.

5. He seems like a really nice guy, who knows how to deal with rabid fans. See: Our interview with him at the Water for Elephants premiere last year.

So, how do you feel about this news? Tweet us your opinions @TheFABlife.com.

[Photos: Lionsgate, Interscope, Fox]