Deadline has submitted a new report stating that yesterday’s breaking news from The Playlist and IndieWire, that the director of The Hunger Games, Gary Ross had officially left Catching Fire, is not true.
Despite reports that have spread like wildfire on showbiz websites, we hear from multiple sources close to Catching Fire that director Gary Ross has not formally withdrawn from The Hunger Games sequel. 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.
As for the notion that Ross would simply toss away the opportunity to return and direct Catching Firebecause 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. Before that, he developed several serious historical dramatic projects under his deal at Universal that didn’t get off the ground. Staying for a sure-fire hit and a sequel that audiences actually want to see makes a lot of sense for Ross, particularly given how active the filmmaker has been in the construction of Catching Fire.
Ross and author Suzanne Collins have been working on this since last November. They drafted Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy back then, when the Hunger Games post production schedule became too arduous for Ross to see through a plan to write the outline and then pen the sequel script with Collins. We’ve heard that Ross developed a tight bond with everyone involved in the film, including cast. Unless the deal making completely implodes, we expect to see Ross behind the camera when the sequel gets underway.
Lionsgate has yet to comment on the issue, so there is no official word on the director for Catching Fire. But fans can have hope that Gary will return to film The Hunger Games sequel. According to Deadline, they are confident it will be Ross behind the camera!