Catching Fire loses The Hunger Games director Gary Ross
Following many speculations, director Gary Ross has confirmed through Lionsgate that he will not be directing THE HUNGER GAMES sequel, CATCHING FIRE. I personally wouldn’t call the news surprising other than the timing. I mean THE HUNGER GAMES is still number one at the box office for the third straight week in a row and Peeta err Josh Hutcherson recently claimed that he couldn’t imagine Ross not returning (but then again, what do actors know). Here is a portion of Ross’s official statement:
“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.”
Ross went on to thank and praise Suzanne Collins, Jennifer Lawrence and everyone he worked with including all the fans but we don’t need to see that mushy stuff. While I think Ross did about as a good a job as you could condensing such a beloved book into a film, I’m not worried about his departure. Look at the other popular teen books that converted to film, HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT had several different directors and they made it through just fine. So the real question now is, who’s going to direct CATCHING FIRE? Who would you like to see?