Francis Lawrence to direct ‘Hunger Games’ sequels

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - The odds are ever in Francis Lawrence’s favor.

Lionsgate announced Thursday that “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” filmmaker will also direct “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay _ Part One” and “Part Two.” Lawrence previously directed the Will Smith post-apocalyptic thriller “I Am Legend” and stepped in to direct “The Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” after director Gary Ross departed the franchise.

“The Hunger Games” films star Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as child tributes that battle to the death in a dystopian future. The movies are based on the novels by Suzanne Collins.

The original “Hunger Games” film was released earlier this year. “Catching Fire” is scheduled to debut Nov. 22, 2013, followed by “Mockingjay _ Part 1” on Nov. 21, 2014, and “Mockingjay _ Part 2” on Nov. 20, 2015.

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