As of yesterday, Lionsgate had yet to reach an agreement with Hunger Games director Gary Ross to helm the second installment of the franchise, Catching Fire — a fact which seemed unfortunate given the fact that the first film had managed to please both fans and critics, while also making tons of money for the studio. Now The Playlist is exclusively reporting that Ross has “officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel,” after giving Lionsgate and Summit his notice earlier this week.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Apparently salary demands weren’t the big issue. As The Playlist explains, “Ross has never been a filmmaker that repeats himself (going from satire in Pleasantville to horse racing drama in Seabiscuit and action in The Hunger Games) and we’re told the burning desire simply isn’t there to spend another couple of years with Katniss in the Capitol (evidently, he also liked the first book best).” Instead, Ross will be working on a project that he wrote himself and has been developing for a while; no doubt the massive success of The Hunger Games will help things move along more quickly.
So, now that that’s all settled, any ideas for a good replacement?