‘The Hunger Games’ Sequel ‘Catching Fire’ Needs A New Director

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 They’re “hearing from multiple sources close to Catching Fire that director Gary Ross has not formally withdrawn from The Hunger Games sequel.”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.

Source: Indiewire
  • Nothing333

    I think I’m one of the only few who was majorly unimpressed with the film. Peeta painting his face like a rock? A flame dress? These scenes felt inexcusable to me lol.

    • Nothing333

      Also it’s def not horror and very very light sci fi. I’m unsure of why it has continued coverage on this site.

      • thesickness88

        Yea, I originally gave it a good review because it was well- made, and I had read the book. Looking back it failed at capturing the story of the book, and turned into a very bleak adaptation. Again, it was very well- made and I give Ross credit for that, but it was poorly written, and focused way too much on all the wrong parts of the book, leaving out important plot points etc. I really hope the sequels focus more on the action and stray away from the “love story”, because the book was not a love story. The emotions between Katniss and Peeta were played only to get the attention of sponsors. Now that I’ve rambled on I guess I’m done lol.

    • DisturbedPixie

      Well, Peeta’s face painting and Katniss’ dress in flames were from the novel. I haven’t watch the film yet but I’d assume if it was done in a way that seemed comical to you, then maybe those parts weren’t adapted too well, though I did laugh when Katniss discovered Peeta on the ground in the book.

      And it would only be horror related if the book had been adapted as so, because it could really go either way. Though I think sci-fi adventure would be a more fitting genre.

  • DisturbedPixie

    on the note that the director is leaving, I hope that they don’t half ass the rest of this, especially since they already planned on stretching out the 3rd novel into two films, which sound like a retarded teen franchise move to me.

    And in my opinion, the 1st book is the best of the 3, so I get the director wanting to bail. But I still think the 2nd and 3rd book are filled with great twists and action packed moments, and deserve a director who looks forward to putting that all on the big screen.

  • DeadEndMike

    This is in now way a horror movie. I don’t understand why we are discussing it on BD.

    • undertaker78

      I agree DeadEndMike. As a person who watches horror movies 99% of the time, I had never even heard of The Hunger Games until I read some information from this site. I was a little confused because it didn’t sound very horror-ish but figured it had to have a fair amount of horror elements, strictly because it was coming from this website. I did see it with my friend and felt duped because in no way does it belong in this genre. I’ve never seen Twilight but I imagine this is what Twilight was like. I never knew killing so many kids in a film could be so PG. I feel responsible to warn other horror fans not to watch The Hunger Games because it’s clearly geared to the young teenage girl crowd.

  • EvanDickson

    @DeadEndMike – I understand where you’re coming from. We include it because it has horror elements, the stalking and killing of the kids at the end and because of its similarities to Battle Royale. A lot of our readers are actually interested.

  • Sethal

    Well, damn.

  • rwhyan@gmail.com

    It wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be like Twilight. Could have been better as an R rating :)

  • sarah.jenice

    If any of you are readers, I would highly recommend this series. It made me sad that the movie had to cater to a teenage audience because this is not a Twilight-like book. Because it is a first person POV, I think the movie lost a lot of the darkness of the world because it is mostly colored in Katniss’s thoughts about the atrocity of the situation in which they live.

    If it could have been bloodier, the deaths in the book were much more jarring. For example, the final opponent killed in the Games is chewed on for an entire night by the pack of mutts and when Katniss finally puts him out of his misery, she can barely make out his mouth when he she shoots him because he is an unrecognizable, bloody pulp.

    The books do not loose quality at all. The final book, Mockingjay, has some of the most disturbing deaths in the series, but after seeing the first movie, I highly doubt they will include the decapitations, skin being melted off of a person, and multiple crowds dying with blood spurting out of every orifice on their bodies or being boiled alive until they are intestine pink. That is the content of the books – not a love triangle. It is a grisly, bloody revolution of a people enslaved by a Capitol who views their lives as less than nothing. It reminded me very much of the movie V for Vendetta.

    I probably wouldn’t call it horror, but you are really missing out if you discount these books as another Twilight.