OFFICIAL: Gary Ross Will Not Direct Catching Fire

| April 11, 2012 | 30 Comments More

Gary Ross - Director of The Hunger Games Movie

It’s official.

Gary Ross has released a statement saying that he will be leaving The Hunger Games franchise and will not be directing the sequel Catching Fire. In addition, Lionsgate has formally released a statement as well.

Here is the statement from Gary:

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.

Here is the statement from Lionsgate:

We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.

Tell us, what are your thoughts? Who should take over? Will Catching Fire be okay without Gary?

source: Deadline

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Category: Catching Fire, Movie, News

Comments (30)

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  1. Mark says:

    Ouch that’s awful. :(

  2. Mark says:

    I just don’t see why he would just give up when he wanted to make the movie and had ideas for it. The only problem was the tight and unflexible schedule. I mean he’ll never have another chance to do this movie. He could have at least gave it a shot and tried, perhaps?

  3. Emily Daniels says:

    WHAT!?! This is shocking.. he did such a good job with The Hunger Games. Sad he isn’t coming back D:

  4. Alexis says:

    Im sad now. But I know they’ll find another great director for Catching Fire

  5. Katie says:

    UGH! :( They better find someone freaking amazing for Catching Fire!! :(

  6. Allison says:

    I’m panicking a little about Gary leaving because most of the cast only did the movie because they knew Gary was perfect for director. What if everyone starts to leave because he’s not directing? ahh!!

  7. MacKenzie says:

    Whomever takes the job as director of “Catching Fire” just be advised of the shoes you have to fill. Gary Ross did a fantastic job. I am not saying that anyother director cannot do the same, but it will be quite tough to do what gary did.

  8. Alison says:

    I know this could be a good opportunity for the next movies but right now I am very upset with this news. Catching Fire was my favourite book of the series and I really hope that the movie will turn out just as good as The Hunger Games did. Catching Fire does have a bit of a different tone to it so hopefully the new director will show that in the best way possible and keep it true to the book.

  9. Any says:

    It’s sad, Gary did an amazing job!
    But there are so much things going on with unflexible schedule to do the script, the movie and not letting past so much time between the sequels.
    I just hope the find a great director for Catching Fire
    Things like this happen and it’s sad, just hopping for the best

  10. Nick says:

    The frustrating thing is that the movie isn’t slated for release until November 2013!!!! However, because many of the actors have filming conflicts, and because the way Lionsgate wants to time Catching Fire’s release, there really IS no flexibility in terms of writing the script, not to mention the constricting shoot time because of acting conflicts (mainly Jennifer Lawrence).

    Anyway, what a downright shame! If I’m to be completely honest, I really do not think anyone can live up to what Ross managed to achieve…. He had a deep thematic understanding of the series, and I was really looking forward to the progression of his work!

    Thanks for your work on the first film, Gary. (I’m really sad right now :( )

  11. Evie says:

    i can’t believe it, the hunger games movie was so good and i just hope that the new director will be just as excellent.

    WHY GARY WHY?!?!?

  12. Jabber jay says:

    Wow this is sad. I mean Im worried that the new director won’t let Suzanne be as involved as she was in The Hunger Games. I’m also scared that a new director may change the whole deal they kinda have an idea out there for the first movie and I’m scared the new director might change that. Really my main fear is that a new director will not respect the books and will not keep true to the book. But when they do choose a new director I hope it is the guy who helped Garry and I’d the riot scene in district 11. I think he may do I great job on the uprising part but I’m not sure about all the other parts of the movie.

  13. Jessalyn says:

    …. dang it.

  14. he shouldn’t have left- if he left because of the tight schedule, it will take a while to find the right director so i think this next film isn’t going to be as good as what anyone would want-i mean, it would take nearly a month at most to get a new director, right? so they’ll have EVEN LESS time to film it…

    Waaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :'( :(

  15. Cimone says:

    I know some THG fans are tired of twilight comparisons, but Twilight switched directors for each film.

  16. Srgg says:

    The Harry potter films also changed directors after the first few films and only got better. I for one am actually glad of the potential change in directors. I was not a fan of the movie and the missed opportunities that were not taken. In the book, Katniss and Peeta were the only Tributes dressed alike in practices…they were TOGETHER. District 11 sending Katniss bread…gone. All subtle subtext that was in the book was taken out of the movie and lost on the movie goers in favor of a bland action movie. I am not hoping for a longer movie but I am hoping that the next director doesn’t remove the subtext that is in Catching Fire. Like what happens to the good looking tributes in the Capitol once they win, Katniss and Peeta’s train trip (the nightmares) or the fact that Peeta becomes more important as a speaker in this book…We’ll see. The script is written. Hopefully this director won’t make people sick with his camera work either.

  17. Riley says:

    One word JERK!!!!!!!!!!

  18. jrbear says:

    One word MONEY!!! This leaves the HG franchise in a very tight bind. Likely, they will have to delay the announced Nov. 2013 release of C.Fire, which is what Gary wanted in the first place.

    It sound like a long way off, but the script for it is just being written right now with Ross’s input.(which can take months)The filming is slated for Fall 2012 due to Jennifer’s X-Men obligations. Filming for this would take about 3 months, maybe more. then the editing, re-shoots and adding in of the CGI (much more of it will be needed than in H.G.)All that takes about 6 to 8 months minimum. So Nov. 2013 should work if everything goes to plan, but in movies, it seldom does.

  19. Chriss says:

    NO WAY! :( This is too sad…

  20. PeetaLover! says:

    I’am so sad right now’ i cant believe Gary is not doing catchinf fire, i can’t imagine other director doidn this, this is not goign to be the same!’

  21. bi says:

    this is sad. i wanted him to direct cf mostly because he´s a character director and i was hoping he would make an effort to develop the relationships and the characters more, and because continuity is a big issue when it comes to a sequel. with that being said, i think both lionsgate and gary ross have dealt with this in a very unprofessional way. lionsgate set a release date for catching fire, then did nothing in preparation for it (script is reportedly not finished yet)intends on keeping the same director for the sequel, but doesn´t sign him on officially. Gary Ross, on the other hand, has known the shooting was expected to start in the late summer/beginning of fall for a long time now. it has been said numerous times in interviews. jen lawrence even said she had to start training in july. either he thought he could convince lionsgate to give him more time and push back production to late fall, and plans to make the x-men sequel messed up his, or he hasn´t been offered what he wanted and thought if he kept negotiations going long enough lionsgate would give in and match his demands out of desperation. this is a business, after all, and feelings are not part of the equation when it comes to money. it is true 4 months is a short time for preproduction, but they should have thought about it before it was too late. they might have a few directors in mind, but if the deadline article is true, lionsgate execs are very much in shock by gary leaving. if they have to start the search for a new director now, it´s going to take some time, leaving 3 months for pre production at most. not a lot of good, experienced directors want that kind of pressure. people are blaming the x-men sequel for causing all this scheduling drama, but really, the filming schedule was established long before fox announced their plans for shooting in jan 2013. i thought gary was the ultimate hunger games fanboy, but as such, he should have resigned a while ago, just out of respect for the material and the story.

  22. This is very disappointing. I hope they’ll be able to find a new director who really has something special to add to the series, and not just one who happens to be available.

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