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The Hunger Games, based on the popular Suzanne Collins novel of the same name, has pulled in over $600 million worldwide. With such phenomenal success, Lionsgate has been fast at work on the second adaptation, Catching Fire. When Gary Ross pulled out of the sequel, it not only mean the loss of a director, but a writer.
Michael Arndt will give the current drafts of the "Fire" script a rewrite. The Hollywood Reporter relays that the Toy Story 3 scribe will need to complete the task at hand rather quickly as the film looks to begin production in the late summer to meet a November 2013 release and star Jennifer Lawrence's tight schedule that requires her to shoot the X-Men: First Class sequel for Fox in January.
The crammed schedule was what led Ross to leave the film in the first place; Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) agreed to direct ‘Fire’ not even two weeks after Ross’ departure.
In addition to writing the beloved Pixar three-quel, Arndt nabbed the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for 2006 indie hit Little Miss Sunshine. The choice shows Lionsgate's commitment to only the most talented names: Simon Beaufoy, who took the film industry’s top honor for writing Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire back in 2008, wrote the original draft of Catching Fire.