Steven Soderbergh directing second unit on The Hunger Games

Here’s some news that should interest fans of The Hunger Games. The Playlist recently caught some tweets (now removed) by production designer Eddie Mills and electrician Chrys Blackstone which revealed that Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Thirteen) would be working as second unit director on the film.

Second unit directors typically direct establishing shots, close-ups, and stunts while the director focuses on scenes involving the main actors. Second unit would seem a bit odd for an established director such as Soderbergh to be involved with, but he is a long-time friend of director Gary Ross, having worked together on Pleasantville (1998), and Ross has often read through Soderbergh’s scripts.

Soderbergh’s virus thriller Contagion starring Kate Winslet, Matt Damon and Jude Law will be released September 9, 2011, and his female-driven action film Haywire with Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender and Ewan McGregor hits January 20, 2012.

Opening on March 23, 2012, The Hunger Games chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event.

Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home.