The shortlist of directors for Catching Fire has been leaked and its a dude-oploy.

By: Rachel Shatto

So it’s official, Gary Ross has dropped out of the Hunger Games sequel. So now harried Lionsgate studio execs have begun scouring the globe for the next director to pick up the dystopian mantle for Catching Fire. Well according to an anonymous insider who has leaked it to The LA Times the boys’ club brain trust has formulated their shortlist of directors to replace Ross. In the running is Canadian director David Cronenberg and Mexican directors Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu plus four or five unnamed directors—all dudes.

After my initial “oooh David Cronenberg” Pavlovian response (A History of Violence is among my all time favorite films) it struck me that there was nary a lady on this list. Which isn’t unexpected. That’s not to say its shouldn’t be directed by a man, but still awfully discouraging considering that for the films is based on a best-selling trilogy written by a woman, told through the perspective of a young women and marketed to women (although fellas are of course welcome to enjoy them, too), not one woman filmmaker is even being considered for the directors chair. Unless of course it’s actually the penis that does the literal directing. If that’s the case I humbly withdraw my complaint.

For the sake of this post lets assume the camera doesn’t actually have to be nestled upon a scrotum for it to start capturing moving pictures. Here is my Uteruses before Duderuses (thank you Leslie Knope) list of lensing ladies who could and should have made the short list.

Kathryn Bigelow
Ok this one is pretty obvious choice, Kathryn Bigelow took home the Best Directing Oscar in 2009 for The Hurt Locker and has plenty of action films under her belt to boot (Blue Steel, Point Break, Strange Days). Plus the she helmed the cult favorite horror film Near Dark. Clearly, capturing action and pathos are not a problem for Bigelow. However, she won her token Academy Award so we can neatly tuck her away. Don’t you know that sexism in the film industry is solved people! Move along, nothing to see here (nothing with boobs behind the camera that is).

Lexi Alexander
Perhaps my personal front runner for the job is Lexi Alexander, this lady director (and skilled martial artist, seriously look it up, she’s bad ass) blew me away with her football hooligans centered drama Green Street Hooligans. But it was her big action debut Punisher: War Zone that earned her a spot on this list. Say what you will about this gloriously gory comic book adaptation, in all its parkour and rocket-launching glory, it was a damn fine looking film and jam packed with action. Plus, Alexander isn’t afraid to throw around the red stuff and the Hunger Games could do with a bit more splatter the second time around, I say!

Catherine Hardwicke
Twilight sucked, I think we can all agree to that, but stay with me for a moment. Its suckatude did not spring from any failing on director Catherine Hardwicke’s part; that’s all down to the source material which is and will forever be epically terrible. However, it’s also the best film in the franchise thanks to Hardwicke’s lemonade out of lemons approach. Of the films it’s the best looking, most atmospheric. And she even managed to eke out a inkling of emotion from her leads! Now imagine for a moment what someone capable of that Sisyphean feat could do with the likes of the magnificent Jennifer Lawrence. It would be breathtaking. Also, not for nothing that $191.4 million dollars box office return is nothing to sniff at.

Jennifer Lynch
Jennifer Lynch is a bit of a dark horse pick. Daughter of the famous director David Lynch and author of Laura Palmer’s Diary (which my mother banned me from reading and which I immediately purchased and kept secreted under my mattress for late night flashlight-facilitated reading) makes this list not for Boxing Helena (wow, just wow) or Hisss (which I haven’t seen) but for Surveillance. This gripping serial killer focused film is told out of sequence and features the best and most terrifying performance of French Stewart’s life. OK on second thought maybe Lynch isn’t the gal for Catching Fire. But Surveillance is seriously awesome and you should totally see it.

Antonia Bird

Have you seen Ravenous? You know, the man vs man vs nature, cannibalistic film set in a desolate snowy outpost? Nuff said, but I’ll continue anyway. Antonia Bird, the woman behind the camera of this film as well as the British crime drama Face in addition to Mad Love which features a mentally unstable Drew Barrymore and her romantic road trip with Chris O’Donnell. Take those three movies, shake ’em up and what have you got, something looking a lot like Catching Fire. I’m just sayin’.


Jen and Sylvia Soska
Hell, if Peter Jackson can go from Bad Taste to Lord of the Rings or Cronenberg can go from Shivers to quite possibly Catching Fire why can’t the ladies behind the underground gory fave Dead Hooker in a Trunk have a crack at the Hunger Games sequel. I don’t know about you but I’d totally see that movie.


See Lionsgate execs, was it really that hard?… Hey I’m talking to you… Excuse me but I’m up here. Le sigh, yes they are natural.

photo credits: Courtesy of Lionsgate (Hunger Games still), M. Dodge (Hardwicke), Courtesy of 20th Centry Fox (Bird)