"Hunger Games" Director Gary Ross Not Returning For "Catching Fire"
Gary Ross, "The Hunger Games" director, may be quitting the games himself. According to an Indiewire’s blog The Playlist, Ross will not return to direct the sequel, "Catching Fire."
Apparently Ross informed Lionsgate and Summit earlier this week that he would not return to redirect the second movie, which nearly made $260 million domestically.
Seems that the "Pleasantville" director may be following in the footsteps of "Twilight" director Catherin Hardwicke, who didn’t finish directing and gave the franchise over to Chris Weitz on "New Moon."
While lead stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth are signed for the trilogy, Ross did not sign to direct all three. Because Ross is accustomed to season-filmmaker fees, negotiations were rough on the first movie and even described as a “terrible experience,” said a source.
Reports say that the 55-year-old "Seabiscuit" director may have quit due to money reasons. Ross actually took up a low $3 million along with Billy Ray and novelist Suzanne Collins to write and direct the film, of which he will collect a 5 percent of backend.
However, Indiewire stated that his decision was not based on money, but more on creative means. The director was not completely satisfied in spending another two years developing the films and was more interested in shooting a new script he had written for which he’ll hopefully get a bigger pay than what the studios had offered for "Catching Fire."
While there is no word yet on who’s replacing Ross, Lionsgate still has some time to find a director for the sequel. A script has already been under the works by "Slumdog Millionaire" writer Simon Beaufoy. Due to the huge popularity of the movie, "Catching Fire" already has a release date, Nov. 22, 2013.
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