‘Catching Fire’ Director Shortlist Includes Cronenberg, Cuaron and No Women
Lionsgate seems to have gotten a bit full of themselves after tapping into some of that tween gold with ‘The Hunger Games.’ With the recent departure of director Gary Ross from the franchise, Lionsgate is scrambling to find someone to replace him that can please both the fans and series author Suzanne Collins.
According to the LA Times Blog, the shortlist for director for the sequel, ‘Catching Fire,’ includes David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaraon (hoping to pull that ‘Harry Potter‘ trick), and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. Every one of these names have something in common:
They’re foreign. They’re men. They’re all drawn to dark fare. None of them have any reason to want to direct a ‘Hunger Games’ film. Cuaron might be interested, as he did direct ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,’ arguably the best film in the franchise.
But Cronenberg? His vision of ‘Catching Fire’ would involve Katniss shooting arrows out of something resembling a reproductive organ at giant TV monsters, all as a metaphor for a collective societal fear of women. There isn’t a single film in Cronenberg’s cannon that feels like it even remotely compares to ‘The Hunger Games.’
Innaritu’s last film was ‘Biutiful,’ the Academy Award nominee for best foreign film and one of the most depressing films in recent history about a dying father in Spain. His films are gritty portraits of humanity, and while that may be something Lionsgate is looking for, it doesn’t exactly translate to tween sensation.
It’s easy to see how Lionsgate could gravitate toward these names in a bid to please Suzanne Collins, but why isn’t there a single woman on the list? Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for her action-packed drama ‘The Hurt Locker.’ Karyn Kusama is also familiar with rough-and-tumble femininity, having directed both ‘Girl Fight’ and the woefully underrated, Diablo Cody-scripted ‘Jennifer’s Body.’ Debra Granik has experience working with Jennifer Lawrence on the bleak ‘Winter’s Bone,’ and could bring some of that dark sensibility to the series.
It’s a book series written by a woman, featuring a strong female lead, and yet no one at Lionsgate is even considering a female director? No, no, Lionsgate. Don’t let logic stand in the way of those daydreams of a dystopian society as envisioned by body horror master David Cronenberg.