Liam Hemsworth, Hunger Games

Murray Close/Lionsgate

Liam Hemsworth is (finally) opening up about Francis Lawrence replacing Gary Ross as director of The Hunger Games followup, Catching Fire.

Though Hemsworth says he doesn't know exactly when Catching Fire actually begins filming…

"The last I heard the new director (Lawrence) had just come on, so that's really cool," the Aussie actor told us this weekend at City Year's second annual Spring Break event. "I'm excited about that. I think we shoot the last few months of this year."

Not that Hemsworth is happy to see Ross go.

"I'm really sad to see that Gary's not going to be part of the second one," he said. "He did such an amazing job on the first."

But don't get too worried. Hemsworth said, "I think that there's still so many people a part of it that want the film to be great and care about it so much that they're not going to bring the wrong person on."


Costar Josh Hutcherson told us just a couple of weeks ago that he had expected Ross to stay around for the entire franchise.

"I think he brought so much to the movie," he said. "I'm definitely going to miss him."

(Originally published May 6, 2012, at 1:05 p.m. PT)

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