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“The Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” lands Francis Lawrence as director

Francis Lawrence on set of "I Am Legend"

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After Gary Ross’s departure from “Catching Fire,” Lionsgate has been busy trying to nail down a new director for “The Hunger Games” sequel. The studio originally tossed around names like David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, but it ended up being Francis Lawrence who took the job.

It was something of a surprising choice because Lionsgate seemed to be reaching pretty high in their search for new directors. In the end, though, it seems like Lawrence will be a good choice. His only three feature film credits to date are “Constantine,” “I Am Legend” and “Water for Elephants,” but then again Ross had only done “Seabiscuit” and “Pleasantville” before “The Hunger Games.” The key is that both directors have a clear visual style, and it’s also nice that Lawrence knows how to deal with romance.

Anne Thompson does a great job detailing why Lionsgate chose Lawrence as director. It ultimately comes down to the fact that he was all they could get. No big name director was going to risk their name on a film with such a quick shoot time and currently unfinished script. Thompson said Lionsgate needed to find a director with something to prove, and they did in Lawrence.

Even though Lawrence has only done three films, he has plenty of experience making music videos with big name stars like Beyonce and Lady Gaga. That might seem frivolous at first, but it actually could really help Lawrence design and shoot the Capitol scenes and the ones during the Hunger Games. Even though Lawrence wouldn’t have been our first choice for the movie, he does have most of the qualities “Catching Fire’s” director needs. Now we just need to find out if he’s read the book.

“Catching Fire” is due in theaters on November 22, 2013.

Do you think Francis Lawrence is a good choice for “Catching Fire’s” director? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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