Update! Deadline says Gary Ross hasn’t left “Catching Fire”.
“Ross is off on a family vacation and couldn’t be reached, but these internet reports that described his withdrawal as definitive are simply not accurate”, reported the site earlier today. “As for the notion that Ross would simply toss away the opportunity to return and direct Catching Fire because of a salary squabble, the logic seems flawed. The Seabiscuit director knows the benefit of riding in a winner and not switching horses midstream. Ross lobbied hard to get The Hunger Games and turned it into the biggest hit of his directing career.”
Lionsgate and Fox may have settled their battle for Jennifer Lawrence (with the star now shooting the X-Men: First Class sequel after Catching Fire) but now the studio has a new challenge, to find a director for the second installment. The Playlist is reporting that Gary Ross has given official notice that he won’t be back for number two. That may seem surprising given the box office success of The Hunger Games, but looking at his career, Gary seems to like changing things up. Plus the director/screenwriter has plenty of writing (and rewriting) work to keep him occupied and well paid.
So, who should helm Catching Fire? I’m sure plenty of directors will be lining up for the job, given the huge fan base of the books. Earlier this week Entertainment Weekly released some pretend posters, imagining what The Hunger Games might have been like in other director’s hands like Woody Allen, Roger Corman and scarily, Brett Ratner (see below) I shudder to think what he’d do if he was given Catching Fire!