While last year's The Final Destination was supposed to be the end of the Final Destination series of films, you can't let a title that's grossed nearly $200 million bucks worldwide serve as the death knell of a franchise. So, with that in mind, New Line and Warner Bros. announced Final Destination 5 -- and when Warner Boss Alan Horn recently set an August 2011 release date, it meant it was time for the production folks to kick it up into high gear.

The first step in the process is hiring a director (screenwriter Eric Heisserer has already turned in a screenplay draft and is reportedly working on rewrites from the set of The Thing prequel) and Vulture says three guys are currently in the running for the gig and that a decision could be made very soon.

The list of candidates features three first time directors who've all done second unit work on 3D or effects-driven films: Steve Quale, who previously worked on James Cameron's Avatar, Bradley Parker, whose resume includes commercials and a second unit directing gig on Matt Reeves Let Me In, and Charles Gibson of the Pirates of the Caribbean films are all in the mix at this point.

Not even New Line execs can explain the success of the previous installment (which has gone on to become the highest grossing the series despite being the worst reviewed entry), but everyone's hoping to catch lightning in a bottle a second time. I remain skeptical, but any one of these three filmmakers would be an interesting selection to helm a new installment.

We'll keep you up to date as Final Destination 5 inches toward the start of production.