Simon Beaufoy Writing Hunger Games Sequel Catching Fire

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It’s always a little strange when a sequel is greenlit before the first installment of a movie comes out, but that’s what Lionsgate did with the sequel to the soon-to-be-released adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, announcing a release date for its sequel Catching Fire last August.

That release date set was November 22, 2013, and now, The Wrap‘s “Deal Central” reports that Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) has been hired to write the adaptation for Collins’ second book. It also reports that Gary Ross who co-wrote and directed The Hunger Games (out March 23) is overseeing Beaufoy’s work and has been confirmed to return as director for the sequel. Furthermore, they’re confirming that four of the cast–Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Liam Hensworth–will also be returning, although that’s probably not that strange since they all were likely to sign multi-picture deals, since that’s standard operating procedure these days.

The Hunger Games is out on March 23 and now it looks like its sequel Catching Fire is still on track for its planned release date of November 22, 2013.