Gary Ross will not return for Hunger Games sequel

Director not happy with time constraints

Despite seeing The Hunger Games romp to $400 million at the global box office, Gary Ross has released an official statement confirming that he will not return to direct the second in the series, Catching Fire.

Having directed just two films since 1998, it is thought that Ross was unwilling to completely overhaul his method of working in order to meet the stringent release deadlines dictated by Lionsgate.

"Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire," said Ross. "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."

"Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise," he continued. "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."

Ross went on to thank the cast and crew of the first film, as well as the many fans of the books, in a very dignified withdrawal. It's an understandable decision on his part, given that Catching Fire will be turned around in little more than a year, with filming beginning this autumn ahead of the opening on 22 November 2013.

It's still a shame though, particularly in light of how good a job he did on The Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in his favour, whatever he does next...

Who would you like to see replace Ross? Share your suggestions, below.


    • alexr

      Apr 11th 2012, 9:12

      I am genuinely disappointed at this news, but having said that, I think Catching Fire (having read the book, and not wanting to give any spoilers away) was always going to be a different type of film to The Hunger Games, and perhaps bringing someone like David Yates on board might steer it in the right direction.

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    • PurpleNightmare

      Apr 11th 2012, 13:21

      Gavin O’Connor - I think that he brought such great emotion warrior, even though the film was ultimately about fighting or Steven Soderbergh - he has already done work on the hunger games and I think he could carry on well from Ross.

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    • MikeyRix

      Apr 11th 2012, 16:07

      Faaack. I am disappointed, but...hey, good luck to him - and his successor! :L

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    • Ali1748

      Apr 11th 2012, 17:22

      That's ashame, hope they find someone who loves the series as much as he did.

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