While this morning it was reported that Lionsgate and Fox worked out their scheduling issues to allow Jennifer Lawrence to shoot “Catching Fire” and the “X-Men: First Class” sequel essentially back-to-back, it looks like before cameras can start rolling on “The Hunger Games” sequel this fall, the studio will need to find a director. The Playlist has learned that Gary Ross has officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel, formally giving Lionsgate and Summit his notice earlier this week, that he will not be coming back.
Though recent trade reports have spun the story as being an issue mostly about money, that’s pretty much a small part of the motivation. Ross has never been a filmmaker that repeats himself (going from satire in “Pleasantville” to horse racing drama in “Seabiscuit” and action in “The Hunger Games”) and we’re told the burning desire simply isn’t there to spend another couple of years with Katniss in the Capitol (evidently, he also liked the first book best). And while the lowball salary offer probably didn’t help, Ross already has a fairly lucrative career as a screenwriter (and rewriter) and money isn’t really the issue. Simply put, the filmmaker is looking to change things up for his next effort.
I wish Gary nothing but the best in all future endeavors. It does break my heart that he won’t be back. I truly do hope they pick someone equally as talented and that will do the second book as much justice as Gary did the first.
I wholeheartedly trust the judgment of Lionsgate, and I know they will pick someone that has the same love for the books as Gary does.
What do you think about this news? Who do you think should direct Catching Fire movie? Let us know in the comments section!
You can read the rest of the article over at Indiewire.
NOTE: This is NOT confirmed by Lionsgate. We will consider this a rumor until we hear from them directly.