Gary Ross, the director of the box-office hit The Hunger Games looks as if he will not be returning to the franchise for the sequel Catching Fire as he formally handed in his notice to Lionsgate and Summit earlier this week according to Indie Wire.
While it isn’t known why he left the franchise, the site is speculating that it is mostly regarding money and also the fact that Gary Ross has never been a filmmaker to repeat himself, as he jumps from genre to genre. It should also be noted that he favored the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy.
While it isn’t known what his plans are for the future, the site reports it could be “something he has written that (ironically) will earn him a better payday that he would’ve received on “Catching Fire” (and it’s possible it’s this “Outback” project).”
Catching Fire which has been scheduled to begin filming this fall for a release on November 22, 2013.
**UPDATE** Contrary to what IndieWire reported, Deadline has debunked the story and has stated that the reports are bogus regarding Gary Ross’ exit from Catching Fire. Instead, Ross is said to be on a family vacation and he has not formally handed in his notice. The site expects to see Ross return behind the camera for the sequel.
As always, stay tuned as events unfold.