I really liked The Hunger Games and am hoping that it could be the next big film franchise. If we need these behemoth cash cows they should at least be halfway decent, right? So it’s sort of concerning to hear that Games director Gary Ross has dropped out of directing the sequel, Catching Fire.
Per Indiewire, “Gary Ross has officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel, formally giving Lionsgate and Summit his notice earlier this week, that he will not be coming back. Though recent trade reports have spun the story as being an issue mostly about money, that’s pretty much a small part of the motivation. Ross has never been a filmmaker that repeats himself (going from satire in “Pleasantville” to horse racing drama in “Seabiscuit” and action in “The Hunger Games”) and we’re told the burning desire simply isn’t there to spend another couple of years with Katniss in the Capitol (evidently, he also liked the first book best).”
*Update – Deadline is now reporting that the director may not be off the project after all. They’re “hearing from multiple sources close to Catching Fire that director Gary Ross has not formally withdrawn from The Hunger Games sequel.” I suspect we’ll see all of this shake out next week. Either he’ll be on, or there will be a mad race for a new helmer.
I haven’t read the books, so I wasn’t aware of any perceived drop off in quality in the second two installments. But apparently a lot of people feel that way. What concerns me is that the original has now made so much money that the studio may go with a cheaper, less seasoned helmer in an effort to get Fire into theaters as quickly (and with as little turbulence) as possible.