For the past week or so rumors have been swirling around regarding whether or not director Gary Ross would be returning the The Hunger Games franchise to take the reins of the sequel, Catching Fire. The final word has come.
Lionsgate has just released the following statement from Ross regarding his stance on the second film:
“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.
I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence, whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.
To the fans I want to say thank you for your support, your faith, your enthusiasm, and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand, I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.”
Let’s not forget that The Twilight Saga switched directors several times, and it continued to do mega business at the box office. So who’ll replace Ross? Let the speculation begin!
The sequel to the 2008 bestseller continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the fictional, futuristic nation of Panem. Due to the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the ruling Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of The Hunger Games.
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