Ok, It’s Official, Gary Ross Will NOT Direct The Hunger Games Sequel

In recent weeks there has been much debate as to whether director Gary Ross would return to direct The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. He was in tense negotiations with Lionsgate and at first, it looked as if they had fallen through. But then, there was hope. We had heard that he wasn’t completely out yet and there was still a chance that he might direct.

Now, Deadline is telling us that a final decision has been made. Gary Ross will NOT direct the film and apparently, Lionsgate is in shock. I’m sure they’re not the only ones either.

I definitely thought that Ross and the studio would be able to reach a deal. He made a lot of money for them with The Hunger Games and you’d think that Lionsgate would do everything in their power to bring him back for round two.

Of course, the question that looms now is who will direct Catching Fire? It’s a huge task to take on and considering the gigantic success of the first film, there is going to be a ton of pressure on the individual chosen to direct the sequel.

Who do you think is up to the task? Let us know in the comments.

Check out Ross’ statement below.

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.

And here’s what Lionsgate had to say.

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.