BREAKING: Gary Ross Will Not Be Directing ‘Catching Fire’

Director Gary Ross on the set of 'The Hunger Games'

While we had just reported today Fox will begin filming for ‘X-Men: First Class’ sequel during January 2013 which allows Jennifer Lawrence to film ‘Catching Fire’ starting late summer or early fall 2012. It was also mentioned in our previous report that Gary Ross was negotiating for more money to direct ‘Catching Fire’.

The Playlist exclusively revealed Gary Ross will be leaving ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise and will not be directing ‘Catching Fire’ or the sequels.

Lionsgate is no doubt hunting for a new director as ‘Catching Fire’ is tentatively planned to start filming during August or September 2012 and to be released on 22 November 2013. Time is ticking away.

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 this next effort.

While the details on what that project will be are still coming together, we’re told it will be something he has written that (ironically) will earn him a better payday that he would’ve received on “Catching Fire.” Essentially, it’s a win-win for Ross, who gets to move on to a project he developed for this fourth feature, and will allow him to do something different.

UPDATE: The Hob got a word from Lionsgate regarding this situation: “This information is not confirmed by the studio.” Looks like we have to wait for the official word from Lionsgate, possibly via press release, to verify if this is real or not real. Larry Richman, a writer and photographer covering film festivals and independent films, notes Lionsgate is most likely negotiating with other directors at this moment and will announce new director to take over directing for ‘Catching Fire’ instead. If this situation is not real, Lionsgate is also likely to verify outright that Gary Ross leaving ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise isn’t true.

What do you think about Gary Ross leaving ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise? Who would you like to direct ‘Catching Fire’? Hold on tight for we will most likely to hear official word from Lionsgate soon.

‘The Hunger Games’, rated PG13, was released on 22 March 2012 and is now available in all cinemas islandwide.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@HungerGamesSG) as well as ‘Like’ us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Posted on April 6, 2012, in Catching Fire Movie, The Hunger Games Movie and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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