THR is reporting some news that Hunger Games fans may find troubling. The sequel, Catching Fire, currently has a release date set of November 22, 2013 but that may change. Apparently, director Gary Ross isn’t totally on board to come back and direct the second film in Lionsgate’s mega blockbuster series.
Ross, who has an Oscar nod for Seabiscuit, was reportedly reluctant to even direct the first film and now that the movie turned out to be a monster hit (it’s grossed over $350 million to date), he’s being even more picky about the sequel. The studio signed the film’s three stars (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth) for all 3 movies in the series but Ross’ contract only obligated him to direct one.
Ross was paid the $3 million for the first movie plus a backend gross of 5%. He wants a raise for the sequel though but it’s not clear how much more he wants. Right now he is in negotiations with the studio and apparently, things aren’t going too well.
Now if that news wasn’t upsetting enough, the film may have hit another snag. Star Jennifer Lawrence may have to wait a bit before she can reprise her role as Katniss, the film’s main character. FOX has an option on Lawrence for the X-Men: First Class sequel which apparently holds more power over Lionsgate’s option for The Hunger Games. That means it may be 2014 before we see Catching Fire, unless it can get up and running sometime soon, before X-Men: First Class goes into production.
As right now, a lot of things are up in the air for Catching Fire. The studio has a script from Simon Beaufoy, but at this point, it looks like that’s all they have. Though, with the juggernaut that they have on their hands, Lionsgate won’t sit on this one for long. Expect more news soon and when it arises, we’ll let you know.