Even as The Hunger Games continues to top the box office, things are not all going quite as smoothly for the upcoming sequel Catching Fire. Lionsgate did catch a break late last week when Fox announced it would begin filming X-Men: First Class 2 in January, allowing the Hunger Games follow-up to begin production in August or September. This was good news because Jennifer Lawrence has an overriding contract with Fox to return as Mystique for the X-Men film.
However, Lionsgate isn't out of the woods yet, as the studio has yet to nail down a director. We first heard that Gary Ross having trouble ironing out a deal after taking a significant pay cut for the first film. Then on Friday, reports came in that the director was definitely out of the running for Catching Fire, much the way Catherine Hardwicke didn't come back to Summit Entertainment for the Twilight sequel.
However, according to a new article from The Hollywood Reporter, that might not be the case at all. The director will meet with Lionsgate today to possibly work out a deal. In addition to wanting more money, the trade paper reports that the quick shooting schedule is not appealing to Ross. Lionsgate offered a vague August/September intended start date, putting the production up against the January target for the X-Men sequel.
It would be possible for Lionsgate to pay Fox some of that recently earned Hunger Games money to push Lawrence's start date back. By the end of the day, the studios should know what the deal is, which means the Internet will probably know about five minutes later. So stay tuned.