Earlier this week we heard that Gary Ross was renegotiating his contract to direct Catching Fire following the huge success of The Hunger Games (it just crossed the $400m worldwide mark). The consensus was that a deal would eventually be made, but yesterday The Playlist ran a report saying “Ross has officially exited the franchise” and informed Lionsgate that he will not be coming back to direct the next film.
Deadine has since posted a response to the news by claiming “these internet reports that described his withdrawal as definitive are simply not accurate.” So what’s going on?
Both The Playlist and Deadline claim Ross isn’t in it for the money (but I imagine he’ll want a salary increase given how much The Hunger Games has made). Where they differ is in regards to Ross’ interest in continuing on with the franchise. The Playlist says the director doesn’t have the desire “to spend another couple of years with Katniss in the Capitol”, whereas Deadline claims Ross has been active in constructing the sequel since work began on the script in November and has developed a “tight bond” with everyone involved in the film.
Deadline expects Ross will be back (unless the deal making “implodes”), but Playlist says Ross is already planning his next project, which is something he has written. The only way things will become clearer is if Lionsgate makes an official announcement on the matter, but if negotiations are ongoing that probably won’t be happening any time soon.
Do you want Gary Ross to return? Or should Lionsgate continue the trend of switching directors after a new franchise has been set up? (See Harry Potter and Twilight).