The Hollywood Reporter had reported previously tension was running high between Lionsgate and Fox due to both studios wanting to start filming for their respective sequels, ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’ sequel during summer and early fall 2012 which could result in schedules conflict for Jennifer Lawrence.
Jennifer Lawrence plays the shape-shifting mutant Mystique in ‘X-Men: First Class’ and Katniss Everdeen in ‘The Hunger Games’. Although Jennifer Lawrence is no doubt the star of Lionsgate’s ‘The Hunger Games’, Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Mystique back in summer 2010, which is far earlier than Lionsgate did for the role of Katniss Everdeen. Thus, Fox will have the right exercise the option on Jennifer Lawrence’s contract should scheduling conflict occurs.
A new article from The Hollywood Reporter reveals Fox is deciding to start filming for ‘X-Men: First Class’ sequel in January 2013 which could prevent Jennifer Lawrence having schedule conflicts.
Fox’s acquiescence isn’t a total win for Liosngate. One source says the Hunger Games studio would have liked to “hold” all the actors for seven months in connection with shooting Catching Fire. But that lengthy demand (typical holds are months shorter) is said to have been dropped amid complaints by interested parties, including Fox.
Lionsgate has another problem on hand with Gary Ross negotiating for more money to direct ‘Catching Fire’ according The Hollywood Reporter.
Unlike stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson andLiam Hemsworth, Ross is not signed for a sequel. And negotiations for him to do the first movie were “a terrible experience,” says a source with knowledge of the discussions, because Ross is a seasoned filmmaker (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) and Lionsgate isn’t accustomed to paying seasoned-filmmaker fees. He ended up taking a relatively low $3 million to write (withBilly Ray and novelist Suzanne Collins) and direct. But he will collect a very remunerative 5 percent of backend.
Sources say Ross, 55, would like a significant raise for a second Hunger Games, but Lionsgate didn’t kick off negotiations with him until about three weeks before the first film’s March 23 opening. By then, with tracking suggesting a huge opening weekend, Ross and his CAA reps were in no hurry to bargain.
Lionsgate has a script from Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) that Ross has yet to revise. The studio is in a rush to start the next film in the fall, though Fox might upset Lionsgate’s plan by exercising its option on Lawrence to start another X-Men movie first. (Fox’s option would trump Lionsgate’s hold on Lawrence, say sources.) Adding urgency: Lionsgate already has booked a November 2013 release for Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
With other big literary properties, directors have been seen as fungible. Warner Bros. entrusted the first two Harry Potter films to Chris Columbus before employing a host of other filmmakers, and Summit memorably did not invite Catherine Hardwicke back to direct the second Twilight, despite the success of the first installment. (And Summit’s Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger now run Lionsgate’s film division.)
But Ross will argue that his film was much better received than any in the Twilight series, with an A CinemaScore and an 85 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes in addition to huge worldwide box office. He’ll contend that the movie will play longer and stronger in theaters and that he could direct his pick of other movies should Lionsgate refuse to pony up. (But to state the obvious, Hunger Games‘ bi-gender story line appeals to a wider audience than Twilight.)
It’s always striking when a giant hit leads to anger and hurt feelings in Hollywood, but that seems to be the case here. Nonetheless, sources involved with the franchise are betting that Ross will return. “Ultimately, it will be difficult, and yet everybody will do the sane thing, which is to work it out,” says one. “Everybody will end up unhappy in their own way. It’s just the nature of the beast.”
HUNGER GAMES: THR Film Critic Todd McCarthy suggests a few alternative directors:
Kathryn Bigelow: If The Hurt Locker and Bin Laden filmmaker wants a mainstream gig, she could elevate the pedigree of the Katniss saga.
Alfonso Cuaron: He notably upgraded the Harry Potter series with The Prisoner of Azkaban and could work his magic again here.
Mel Gibson: Don’t laugh. If Catching Fire is one-third as exciting as Apocalypto, it would be dynamite. But can Mel do PG-13?
Walter Hill: The old-guard director (The Warriors) could provide style and an authentic feel for action that was missing in the first film.
Nicolas Winding Refn: If modern edginess and unexpected moves are desired for the sequel, then the Drive director could be the man to deliver them.
‘The Hunger Games’, rated PG13, was released on 22 March 2012 and is now available in all cinemas islandwide.
Hope and stakes are high with movies that are due to be released in 2012. No doubt companies are hoping their franchise will be the next big thing that will bring them the money.
The Wrap has compiled a list of 6 movies that are due to be released in this year and why these movies “had better be damn good in 2012”.
Unsurprisingly, ‘The Hunger Games’ is one of the 6 movies listed.
THE HUNGER GAMES: Lionsgate stock is closely tied to the success of the highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s young adult novel, and the studio would like to turn the movie into a franchise of up to four parts. In fact, it already has announced a sequel to be released in 2013.
Head over to The Wrap to see which other movies made it to the list.
‘The Hunger Games’ will be released in Singapore on 22 March 2012.