It was reported earlier this week that director Gary Ross hadn’t signed on to direct the continuation of Hunger Games franchise, but that negotiations were still ongoing. However, it has now been reported that he will not be returning to direct the sequels.
Ross seemed committed to the film over the last few weeks saying,
I’m looking forward to it. Simon Beaufoy [‘Slumdog Millionaire’], who’s a writer I’ve been a fan of for a long, long time, is doing the script. I can’t write the ‘Catching Fire’ script right now because I’m finishing [‘Hunger Games’], and we’re on a schedule where the script has to get written right now. So I’m unbelievably fortunate that someone like Simon is going to be writing the script. […] That’s a thrill. He’s somebody that I respect and I just love his work.”
But apparently, it wasn’t enough as he has decided against it.
Playlist has claimed that the exiting of Ross isn’t as much of a monetary problem as previously reported. While he has decided he would rather not spend so much time in the same story, the low salary offer probably did not help convince him to stay on. Ross was paid $3 million to direct the first film, The Hunger Games and will also reportedly receive a five-percent cut of the backend. But he had asked for a pretty significant raise to do the second film. However, reports have been flying all week that Lionsgate negotiations had gone south and neither party would budge.
Lionsgate will now have to hire someone pretty quickly if they wish to stay on track for their November 22, 2013 release date.
At least one good piece of news for today is that Jennifer Lawrence, who plays main character Katniss, is open to shoot the film on schedule since the production of the new X-Men film has been pushed back to accommodate.