Confirmed: Gary Ross is NOT directing Catching Fire

Well, it was bandied about as a possibility last week, but now it's a certainty: Gary Ross will not helm the follow-up to THE HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE.

Here's the first part of Ross' statement on the matter: 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.

For Ross' full statement, and Lionsgate's generous reaction, head over to Deadline.

So obviously, money wasn't the issue, nor was Ross' simple desire to move on to something else; no, it's the tight production window Lionsgate imposed. CATCHING FIRE has a release date of NOVEMBER 22, 2013, and Ross didn't believe that to be enough time to prep, shoot and edit the highly-anticipated sequel...

Now the search for his replacement begins.

Elizabeth Banks

Extra Tidbit: Do you think Lionsgate would be wise to push the release date back to accommodate Ross, or should they just continue their search for a new captain of the ship?
Source: Deadline.com



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