It looks like Lionsgate is going the Harry Potter route with their uber-successful HUNGER GAMES movie franchise, opting to hire a host of different directors instead of sticking with what works. As we all know, Gary Ross declined to helm CATCHING FIRE, due to the studio pushing for a November 2013 release. The second installment in the series, currently in pre-production, will be helmed by Francis Lawrence, but Lionsgate is already looking for another director to take over THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY parts 1 & 2. As reported by Anne Thompson:
"Summit’s Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, producers Nina Jacobson and author Suzanne Collins are currently vetting the right directors for the last two Mockingjay films."
The bottom line is that the studio is pushing hard to pump out the third movie by November 2014, so it'll have to go into pre-production before Francis Lawrence's CATCHING FIRE exits post-production, effectively eliminating the director from the race. Whether or not this approach will benefit the series, we'll have to wait and see.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is still up for its November 22nd, 2013 release date, with a cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks (below), Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer, Sam Claflin, Melissa Leo and Tony Shalhoub.