Unconfirmed: Gary Ross Officially Bows Out of ‘Catching Fire’
Note: This is not a late April Fool’s joke.
Talk has been swirling around the fact that Gary Ross was not confirmed for directing the movie ‘Catching Fire’ but now IndieWire is exclusively reporting that for creative purposes, Gary Ross has officially notified Lionsgate that he will not be returning to direct the second movie in the franchise.
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). And while the lowball salary offer probably didn’t help, Ross already has a fairly lucrative career as a screenwriter (and rewriter) and money isn’t really the issue. Simply put, the filmmaker is looking to change things up for this next effort.
I know the article states it’s not money and that it’s mostly for creative reasons, but it still sounds odd to me. Gary had so much passion for the series, talked so much about how much his kids loved it, went so far to get the job, and talked about how he’d do Catching Fire that it feels like something is missing from the picture. In any case, I guess it’s not just Finnick we’ll be obsessing over this summer…
NOTE: This has not been confirmed by Lionsgate.