Confirming what had long been speculated, Lionsgate has today officially announced that the third chapter in the “The Hunger Games” trilogy is to be split into two films. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1′ will be released November 21th, 2014 with ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2′ following on November 20th, 2015. ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’ the second movie in “The Hunger Games” series, is pencilled in for a November 22nd, 2013 release date. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles. Both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jena Malone recently joined the cast for the sequel.

Based on the second in the hugely popular series of books by Suzanne Collins, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ will be directed by Francis Lawrence (Water For Elephants, I Am Legend, Constantine), there’s currently no word if he will direct the “Mockingjay” movies. ‘The Hunger Games’ helmer, Gary Ross, declined to return to the directors chair due to Lionsgate wanting to start production in September. Because of this fixed and tight production schedule Ross didn’t see a way to prep the picture in time. The first film, which Ross co-wrote and directed, has been recieved excellently by fans, critics and at the box office. Expect news related to “The Hunger Games” trilogy soon.