04/19/2012 11:21 am ET

'Catching Fire' Director: 'Hunger Games' Sequel Focuses On Bennett Miller And Francis Lawrence

"Catching Fire" may have its director very soon. According to multiple outlets, the search to replace Gary Ross on the "Hunger Games" sequel has narrowed to Bennett Miller ("Moneyball") and Francis Lawrence ("Water for Elephants").

The two directors apparently beat out a list of high-profile names, including David Cronenberg and Alfonso Cuaron.

Indiewire's blog The Playlist first reported Miller and Lawrence as possible names on the Lionsgate shortlist for "Catching Fire" (the site previously broke the news that Ross was leaving the "Hunger Games" sequel), and it was confirmed by both Deadline.com and The Hollywood Reporter. Of course, which director has the inside track remains a mystery.

Per THR, Lawrence is the leader in the clubhouse because of his previous work on action films like "I Am Legend." There's also the matter of Miller wanting to direct his passion project, "Foxcatcher," for Twentieth Century Fox. That film could go in front of cameras in December, when Miller would presumably be wrapping up "Catching Fire," which has a fall start date.

According to Deadline.com, Miller wanted Lionsgate to push "Catching Fire" to the spring. However, since the film has a November 2013 release date already set, that seems unlikely. If Miller were forced to move "Foxcatcher," that could cause problems, too: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are attached to star in the drama at the moment, but whether they'll be available to star should the film move is unclear. The drama tells the tragic story of John du Pont, the millionaire and schizophrenic heir to the du Pont fortune, who murdered Olympic gold medalist wrestler David Schultz on his property.

Whether "Catching Fire" winds up in the hands of Miller or Lawrence, expect a decision as soon as this week.

[via Indiewire/The Playlist, THR]

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