Yesterday it looked like negotiations between Gary Ross and Lionsgate over his fee for directing the Hunger Games sequel were tense. Now they look dead. Rigor mortis, man! But the wrinkle is that it may never have been about the money. Thickening of plot!
In the weeks since the release of The Hunger Games, we’ve heard about negotiations between Ross and Lionsgate, and while there seemed to be some contention over money, the general takeaway was that Ross and the studio would come to terms and he would once again be in the director’s chair for the sequel.
Turns out that might not be the case. Rather, Ross may have been playing his own smart game, letting many think he would be ready to move on to the sequel, but instead using his new cachet from the film’s success to ensure he could do a film he has been developing for a while. In other words, if the report we’ve got today is correct, Catching Fire will have a new director.
The Playlist says that Gary Ross “has officially exited the franchise” and won’t make the sequel Catching Fire. In fact, he resigned earlier this week. We’ve reached out to both Lionsgate and Ross to confirm, but haven’t heard back from either yet.
(Edit: Lionsgate seems to be trying to figure out how to respond to this, and we don’t have an actual statement from them at this point.)
The site says that Ross isn’t terribly interested in spending the next few years in Panem, and would rather do something different. (Reportedly, he was most a fan of the first book, and that factors in slightly to his choice.)
So what’s his next movie? The site has been told that “it will be something he has written that (ironically) will earn him a better payday that he would’ve received on Catching Fire.” That ‘ironically’ line is mentioned because it isn’t the lowball salary offer from Lionsgate that pushed him out of the franchise, but the interest in doing something else.
Godspeed, Ross. I’m interested in seeing whatever the fuck you come up with next. Also, pro-tip: we all pretty much hate shaky cam now.