It looks like pre-production on the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games is moving swiftly forward.
Deadline reports that three directors have emerged as front-runners for the job: David Slade, Gary Ross and Sam Mendes.
Lionsgate is hoping to begin production in January or February on the movie version of Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel about a futuristic society, where teens are chosen to fight to the death for televised entertainment.
Of the three front-runners, Slade has recently proven his ability to successfully adapt a popular book, having helmed this summer's blockbuster, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Meanwhile, Mendes has proven himself with critical acclaim for films such as American Beauty and Revolutionary Road. Ross also has two big hits under his belt: the TV fantasy Pleasantville and the true-life horse racing saga Seabiscuit, both of which he also produced.
Collins herself wrote the screenplay adaptation for The Hunger Games, and the script was recently revised by veteran screenwriter Billy Ray. Producers are hoping to release the film in late 2011.