Gary Ross in Negotiations for ‘Catching Fire’
‘The Hollywood Reporter’ reports that Gary Ross is currently in fierce negotiations with Lionsgate, as he is not yet officially signed on to direct ‘Catching Fire’.
Now that The Hunger Games is a hit with more than $363 million in the till, the question is whether writer-director Gary Ross will return for the next installment in the lucrative Lionsgate franchise.
Unlike stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, Ross is not signed for a sequel. And negotiations for him to do the first movie were “a terrible experience,” says a source with knowledge of the discussions, because Ross is a seasoned filmmaker (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) and Lionsgate isn’t accustomed to paying seasoned-filmmaker fees. He ended up taking a relatively low $3 million to write (with Billy Ray and novelist Suzanne Collins) and direct. But he will collect a very remunerative 5 percent of backend.
Sources say Ross, 55, would like a significant raise for a second Hunger Games, but Lionsgate didn’t kick off negotiations with him until about three weeks before the first film’s March 23 opening. By then, with tracking suggesting a huge opening weekend, Ross and his CAA reps were in no hurry to bargain.
What do you think? Will Gary and Lionsgate reach an agreement or will someone new be directing ‘Catching Fire’?