The odds may not be in Gary Ross' favor to direct Catching Fire

Hunger Games movie title

In news that is quickly catching fire (as it were) across the web, director of THE HUNGER GAMES Gary Ross may or may not be back for the sequel due out around Thanksgiving of 2013. It isn't a matter of creative differences, or of "a better opportunity" - no, word is that the holdup in confirmation all has to do with cold, hard cash.  Or at least a warm, foldable check. 

Gary Ross directing The Hunger Games

THE HUNGER GAMES has already made over $363 million in barely two weeks, and so one can understand that Ross wants himself a piece of that very large and very delicious pie.  While trio of stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth were all signed for the sequels from day one, Ross himself has only ever had a contract for the first film.  And while negotiations to direct even that first film were difficult, since "Ross is a seasoned filmmaker (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) and Lionsgate isn't accustomed to paying seasoned-filmmaker fees," Ross ended up settling for a $3 million fee plus 5% of the back end in exchange for his co-writing/directing duties.  Which is still a whole lot of money, even considering the current box office take alone.

But now Ross is wanting "a significant raise" to direct CATCHING FIRE, while everyone is in a bit of a general rush considering how the release date is already booked and Fox can exercise its own option on Jennifer Lawrence's commitment to return for an X-MEN: FIRST CLASS sequel, therbey locking up her schedule.  Which all means that if Ross pushes too hard for too long, Lionsgate might just opt find someone else instead.

So what do you think? And if Ross didn't come back, who would you want instead?

Jennifer Lawrence in black and white

Extra Tidbit: I've heard Alfonso Cuaron suggested by fans as a possible replacement, which I personally think is genius.



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