Last week, news came out that director Gary Ross wasn’t going to return for Catching Fire, the sequel to this year’s The Hunger Games. Soon after those reports came out, it was debunked, stating that Ross and Lionsgate were actually still in negotiations. The newer report even stated that Ross most likely would return, just some details needed to be ironed out.
Well, now it appears negotiations have crumbled and Lionsgate is shocked. Gary Ross has stated that he will not return for the second part in the franchise. The writer/director cited that he felt he just didn’t have the time to write and prep the movie as he would like, due to the restraints of the schedule.
You can read Ross’ statement below, along with Lionsgate’s response.
Gary Ross’ statement:
I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.
I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.
To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.
We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.
So, unfortunately Ross will not be returning to write or direct Catching Fire. We’ll have to wait to see how this affects the franchise. Sometimes a changing of the guards such as this can have adverse effects on the franchise, while other times it doesn’t. I will be interested to see who Lionsgate brings in to replace Gary Ross.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.
Filed Under: Movie News