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Sunday Snippets: No surprise: Catching Fire Gets New Writer

A few weeks ago Gary Ross, the director of the wildly successful Hunger Games, bowed out of directing numero 2 in the series claiming lack of prep time. The studio wants to start shooting this August. Now screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy who wrote the first draft of the first book is out too. Lionsgate is looking for a new writer and word is, Michael Arndt, the writer behind Toy Story III and Little Miss Sunshine is in. If I was Suzanne Collins I would be a bit nervous about what they were doing to my franchise. The script is job one, THE MOST IMPORTANT element, and now the pressure is on to get it on paper before August? I'm surprised it's coming down like this. I would have thought they would have made plans for Catching Fire back when the film first started coming together in a way they knew would satisfy the fan base. Next thing you know we'll hear Jennifer Lawrence is rethinking whether to come back as Katniss...presumably Lionsgate inked her deal ahead of time. Why not the writer?
Nordic crime fans take heart. While waiting for Sascha Gervasi (Anvil, Story of Anvil) to bring and English language version of Jo Nesbo's Headhunters to the screen,  American fans of the books can see the Norwegian version currently playing in American theatres. And Word and Film has an interesting piece about director, Morten Tyldum's approach to the material. Read the article here.  It's playing at two theatres here in the L.A. area; hopefully you can catch it somewhere on a screen near you.