Confirmed: Gary Ross isn't directing the Hunger Games sequel
In an official statement, director Gary Ross confirms that he won't be directing the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire...
We've heard repeated stories, over the past few days, that the director of The Hunger Games, wouldn't be returning for the next film, Catching Fire. And after much speculation, Ross has stepped in with a statement confirming the reports.
"Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire," Ross wrote. "As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule."
Ross then goes on to say that he enjoyed working with the various writers, actors and filmmakers involved with The Hunger Games, describing the process as "the happiest experience of my professional life". Lionsgate, meanwhile, issued an affable statement of their own, to the effect that they were sorry to lose Ross, but "look forward to working with him in the future".
This means, of course, that there's a large, director-shaped hole sitting where Ross used to be, and with Catching Fire currently scheduled for release next November, Lionsgate will have to make a deal quickly to secure a replacement.
You can read Ross' full statement over at Filmonic.