Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, announced that he will not direct the sequel to the Blockbuster film. (Image via The Hollywood Reporter)
We have some sad (or maybe for some of you… Happy) news to share. Gary Ross has gone out and said that he will not be directing Catching Fire. He announced this after meeting with Lionsgate yesterday.
Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.
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.
Lionsgate has also issued a small statement as well. All though they seem to be calm about Ross not directing the movie, a Lionsgate insider says that Lionsgate was expecting the news to break any day now.
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.
Some of the cast of The Hunger Games have given some thoughts on Ross not directing the sequel.
“One thing about Gary is, he can do everyone’s job better than you can,” Ludwig told E!. “It’s an honor working with such a talented director. He is an unbelievable guy and an actor’s director, which is amazing…. Nobody could really do what Gary did. I honestly believe that 100 percent.”
-Alexander Ludwig (Cato) via E! Online
“That makes me so sad,” she said. “I’m sorry, I can’t move on yet. I’m still in mourning. I don’t know that anyone else could bring it to life the way that he did.”
-Jacqueline Emerson (Foxface)
Dayo Okeniyi, who played Thresh, gave some suggestions on who could possibly direct the sequel.
“I’d like to see a David Fincher Catching Fire or Darren Aronofsky,” he said. “I think he’d be amazing for the second movie. Be a little bit edgier, darker.”
WHo do you think should direct Catching Fire?