Michael Arndt to re-write ‘Catching Fire’

Does the anticipated sequel have trouble ahead…?

catching fire2It looks like trouble might be brewing in the world of Panem. First, the selection of Francis Lawrence to helm ‘Catching Fire’ hasn’t exactly gotten tongues wagging, and now word has come that Simon Beaufoy’s script is getting a rewrite. Lionsgate seems to have hired Michael Arndt to take the gig, and while that’s not a bad thing at all, it suggests that right now this movie is not up to snuff and would currently pale in comparison to ‘The Hunger Games’. A lot can change, but this all doesn’t inspire confidence. You can read the story from The Hollywood Reporter here, but after the jump I’ll get into what this might mean for the movie itself…

This sort of thing happens all the time on big projects, so that alone isn’t a big deal, but usually this sort of addition isn’t announced (plus Arndt is very talented and could bring some extra humanity to the epic flick). The hope is obviously that this is just an extra effort to make the film as good or better than ‘The Hunger Games’, but between this possibly mean troubles at the scripting stage and the uninspired choice of Francis Lawrence to helm…well, trouble could be brewing as well. Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for something else as well.

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Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.


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Henry Z.

That’s great to know! Michael Arndt is guaranteed to deliver.


Never been a big fan of Simon Beaufoy…and the director’s filmography leaves something to be desired.


Simon Beaufoy gave us The Full Monty, a fantastic screenplay and one that I think would mix very well with something like Michael Arndt’s Little Miss Sunshine (a film I absolutely adore). I like the mix, though let’s not forget that this is still an adaptation of a very popular book and that comes with a few restrictions either way (thenagain, Michael Arndt did wonders for Toy Story 3, so maybe he can work his magic with this source). I can’t wait to see what Michael Arndt does with this material, since I love both films he’s written.


There is certainly trouble brewing in Panem. And it’s in the form of a regretful drop in excitement and quality of story in book three, “The Mocking Jay”. This is the practice round for Michael Arndt, as “Catching Fire” can carry itself by following the book. But he needs to impress enough that he can be trusted to give “The Mocking Jay” a complete overhaul such that the series of movies doesn’t leave a sour taste in the audience’s mouths like the final book did for me. Here’s hoping that Arndt can build enough script writing capital that the studio/producer… Read more »



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