13 Apr – Previously, it seemed almost certain that Gary Ross would return to direct the second instalment of the book trilogy "The Hunger Games" that he successfully kick-started, titled "Catching Fire", however, it has finally been revealed that the rumours regarding Ross' backing out was true, according to Deadline.
According to Lionsgate, Ross stated the reason for his withdrawal was that he would not helm the sequel because he did not want to repeat himself.
"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."
As Ross lobbied hard to get "The Hunger Games", and was even involved in the script work for "Catching Fire" with trilogy author Suzanne Collins since last November, speculations are rife that the reason for Ross' replacement lies with the Lionsgate studio executives.
This was because negotiations were handled by Lionsgate toppers Jon Feltheimer, Michael Burns, and movie chief Rob Friedman, newly arrived from Summit, a studio that had previously changed up directors for their commercial hit, "The Twilight Saga", which led the franchise to strive instead.