Author Archive: LMCullen
We previously reported that Indiewire had exclusive information that The Hunger Games director, Gary Ross, would not be returning to the franchise to direct Catching Fire, the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy.
New reports are stemming from The Hollywood Reporter stating that Gary is still in negotiations, and the resume today –
The Hunger Gamesdirector Gary Ross is set to meet with Lionsgate executives on Monday for a key meeting that will help determine his role in the follow-up to the mega-blockbuster.
Contrary to previous media reports, Ross—who returned from a vacation in Italy on Friday—has not exited the booming franchise. But he is not yet signed to return for the second installment, Catching Fire, and sources say the filmmaker is concerned about an ambitious production schedule that would require shooting to begin in August so that star Jennifer Lawrence can complete her work before she is due to start filming a sequel to Fox’s X-Men: First Classin January.
THR reported last week that Fox has informed studios and talent agencies of its planned start date for the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men movie. Since Fox’s deal with Lawrence predates her contract for Hunger Games, X-Men is in a priority position. With the script for the second Hunger Games not yet locked, that means all preparations for a sequel would have to be done in four months—a tough schedule to meet.
Sources describe the negotiations between Ross and Lionsgate as delicate. In addition to his concerns about the schedule, THR reported on Wednesday that the filmmaker would like a raise from the $3 million (and 5 percent of backend) that he received for the first film, which has passed $450 million in worldwide box office and received an 85 percent “fresh” rating from critics on Rottentomatoes.com. Ross, an accomplished screenwriter and director (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) has several other projects in development and could choose to pursue any of them.
You can read the rest of the article here.
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.