Gary Ross won't direct next 'Hunger Games' film
April 11th, 2012
09:39 AM ET

Gary Ross won't direct next 'Hunger Games' film

As "The Hunger Games" continues to dominate the box office, director Gary Ross has confirmed that he's stepping away from the franchise.

Reports surfaced last week that Ross was bowing out of helming the next "Hunger Games" film, "Catching Fire," with some citing creative reasons and others speculating he was holding out for a larger payday.

But Ross himself says the issue is one of timing.

"Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct 'Catching Fire,'" he says in a statement. "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."

He adds that "contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic," and that the studio has been "understanding through this difficult decision."

For its part, the studio tells CNN that they're "very sorry" Ross has chosen to part ways with the film, as they were "really looking forward" to creating "Catching Fire" with him.

"[Ross] did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work," Lionsgate says in its statement. "This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future."

Ross was just as laudatory of the studio and the rest of his filmmaking team in his statement, calling the making of "The Hunger Games" "the happiest experience of my professional life":

"Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.

I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.

To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience."

"The Hunger Games" has made $306 million at the domestic box office since its March 23 release. "Catching Fire," the second installment in the trilogy of films based on Suzanne Collins' novels, is scheduled to arrive in theaters in November 2013.

Who do you think should take up the director's chair?

Filed under: Hunger Games • movies

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soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Trick

    Guillermo del Toro Think more Pan's Labyrinth more then HellBoy

    April 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cajuntiger

    hope hope hope that they find a decent replacement for Ross. Yeah, the camera thing was crap, but I thought the production was fantastic otherwise.

    PS: racist comment...probably intended to be sarcasm.
    PPS: racist sarcasm still isn't cool. stop trolling, troll person.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. xraygal2

    James Cameron I agree with...would be fantastic...!! LOVED THIS MOVIE!! can not wait!

    April 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerry J. Anderson, CCIE #5000

    Hopefully his replacement won't be quite so in love with "let's make this seem exciting" jiggly shoulder-cam shots. I really wanted to see the movie, but refuse to go to any movie which requires premedication to prevent motion sickness. I wonder how many people avoided this movie for the same reason, and how much this "artistic" direction decreased ticket sales.

    April 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Maddy

    Wow you're really racist Melissa. You obviously didn't know that Rue and Thresh were the same skin tone as were everyone else from district 11. You are obviously not a true fan and you didn't thuroughly read the book.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sokman

    The difference between me @ Dan: I once helped Jack off a horse, while Dan once helped jack off a horse...

    April 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Suckman, you seem to know a lot of perverted things to do with animals. Brought up in a barn, huh? I'll bet you make those little piggy's just squeal, too! Ride 'em cowboy! lmao

      April 12, 2012 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sokman

    Colored people? Like the Teletubbies or Power Rangers? I don't get it...

    April 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Suua P.

    That's too bad. I Hope the new director is a better one than Gary.

    April 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Destry

    C'mon, studio! Bring Ross Back! Give him time to create a good script and you'll have another Dark Knight type of success. If you make the movies as soon as possible, you'll have another Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest disappointment. I plead, nay, demand that you bring Ross Back!

    April 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. silly rabbits

    silly rabbits... think these people commenting here are just joking and pulling our legs on the racist front, considering all the ridiculous racial comments that have been blogged since the movie opened and the media has just gobbled up as 'fact'. I shudder to think anyone can be this stupid. But most redneck idiots can't read anyway so how would they know what's in the book?? They're just wanting SOME ATTENTION with these 'racist' comments. Don't give it to them!

    I love the HP director idea... Even better – JUDD APATOW!! See - KIDDING!! 🙂

    April 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Myla

    Obviously Melissa didn't read the book. The characters are all of the correct ethnic "shade". And why should it make a difference anyway???

    April 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Immie

    Either one of the Harry Potter directors or Steven Speilburg (can't spell his name)... just because he did a great job with war horse, showing feelings well!

    What is with these horrible racist people? It isn't right to say that stuff but we aren't even being asked about weather black people are good or not!! Idiot racists!

    April 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    Good. That was a dreadfully boring movie, and I blamed it on the direction. No action, little tension. I didn't read the book, but my wife who loved it agreed. Amazed it made that much money. "Running Man" is a masterpiece next to this borfest. "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", another great book turned movie, was an excellent movie. Get that director. This reminded me of the exciting book "Dune" was, but what a bad movie it turned out to be.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ben

    I am starving. Hope it will be dinner time soon.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lisa

    Christopher Nolan

    April 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  16. procchi

    David Fincher would do a fantastic job with this franchise.

    April 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  17. lojenk

    April 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  18. RichWW2

    "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."

    Translation – The studio wants to pump out the next two movies for money as soon as possible regardless of how terrible the script may be.

    April 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kyle Rieman

    i think david slade should direct catching fire

    April 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  20. ji

    did they lock the director in a room with a bowl of poison berries?

    April 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  21. AL

    Them coloreds are bad as hippies and young people. All of them are just liberal stooges.

    April 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  22. nn

    hopefully the next director will not film the next movie with 90% close ups on katnips face!

    April 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  23. msjohnson624

    and in other news Peter Jackson signed up to direct Catching Fire

    April 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Bluedestiny

    Frankly, the directing was a letdown for me, though likely the editing that let the film down. As someone who did not read the books, I felt the whole movie fell apart the minute the action started. There was no logical motivation for the tribute's behavior – why they banded together knowing that in just a day or two they'd all be dead but one, why they'd be jovial and cavorting around in camp, why they'd be bloodthirsty and cruel in their actions... all the motivation seemed a huge miss. After the film, my daughter who'd read the books filled in some of the missing pieces, such as they could be filled in, but wow, the whole film fell apart from the start of the action. Huge miss.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  25. fistface

    Could always bring in M.K. shamalayananannnn... Oh wait.. he is busy totally destroying what Avatar:AirBender could have been...

    April 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. J

    If you have a problem with colored people then don't watch the movies.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Michael


    April 11, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Grant

      I agree! I said this and people told me I was the dumbest person on the planet.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Larry

    I think they should get George Lucas to direct the next film.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  29. Edubs

    I am very happy that Ross is out. I thought he did a HORRIBLE job directing this movie. The cameras were shakingn like crazy, the plot was all over the place, and the emotion of the book was not portrayed properly. I think they should bring in one of the Harry Potter directors that did such a GREAT job transferring those books to movie form. Hopefully Catching Fire isn't the dud of a movie that Hunger games was.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • ms codpiece

      I think you hit the nail on the head....the shaking camera made me ill while does not work....bringing the HP directors in would be a blessing...i would say cuaron would be my pick....HP3 was my favorite for that reason...he did the best job with bringing the book to life.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      I agree that the movie was poorly directed. These books are obvious movie fodder, but Ross only brought out a portion of its potentional. It's the Transformers/Micheal Bay thing....hard to make a flop of a movie with giant robots. Shaky camera was annoying, but more annoying was how paper thin the connection between Katniss and Peeta was...that's central to the ongoing theme of the book and was Star Wars ackward.

      My wife and I, both avid fans of the series, said it missed as compared with Harry Potter film adaptations. Switching directors would be a big opportunity to get more out of the series.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trick

      Guillermo del Toro! Don't think HellBoy think Pan's Labyrinth

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  30. 50% of the comments here

    Are most likely the same troll.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  31. Cora

    I herd there are hippies in this movie. You can never tell what a hippie is going to do. They might turn on a boom box and play sinful music. Us Mormons don't agree with that music stuff.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  32. Mary D

    We didnt take our girls to go see this. They wanted to during spring break but we just couldn't. Seeing the way the blacks act, we just don't need them exposed to such violence and wild behavior.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      LOL...most of the killing is done by whites...

      Man you are pretty messed up in the head there...

      April 11, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ms codpiece

      are you kidding?? before posting you should know what you are talking about. if you can read...or would know that the white tributes did all the killing...they were the most animal and brutal of them all! just shut your racist pie hole and crawl back into the hole you dug yourself out of. i feel for the girls and the hate you are raising them in!

      April 11, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      Mary D– "The way the blacks act?" Are you kidding me? There are three black people in this film. One of them is a precious child who is killed by a WHITE person. One of them is an adult who is not even in the games or the fighting. And the other is just like the other 23 children sent to fight–a martyr for a country whose government doesn't care.

      Race is not an issue in this film. It isn't about HOW THE BLACKS ACT, or even how the whites act. It is a film about the horrors of war and a totalitarian government. You are raising children. They watch you. They listen. They will hold in their heart the things you teach them in their childhood. I hope sincerely that you are not teaching hatred, and fear of black people. Teach them to love God, and to love their fellow man. The black children they will grow up around have eyes, noses, arms, legs, hair, and hearts. They breathe, they play, they laugh, they smile... The only difference is that they have a darker pigment in their skin. Can you tell me, please, why if they have so many things in common, why one simple thing like skin color should matter? I can't see that it should.

      April 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Yeah Mary D, better that you didn't take your girls to see this movie with all that "the blacks" are doing these days. Better to keep them home, you wouldn't want them to know about the civil rights movement that happened over 50 years ago, or that one of "the blacks" is now president. Hey Mary did you know we also landed on the moon? Or that women are allowed to vote? What amazes me the most is that you're actually aware of the internet, how did someone as obtuse as yourself figure that one out?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  33. me

    I hope the next director does as well as the first. My wife and I [I didn't want to] saw this and I was surprised how good it was. My wife is gorgeous and knows a good movie when she see's it. [And a good man]

    April 11, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  34. Julie

    Sad to see him go. But I really hope the next director WILL not include "shaking" in the film...the movie moved around so much that it was hard for me to stay focused one thing...kinda of ruined my expectations for the movie. If there wasn't any shaking then it'd be better....

    April 11, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Gizbot

      Exactly. The camera work was ridiculous. Stanley Kubrick must have been spinning in his grave. If you want to do the camera realism thing to draw people into the action, then Paul Greengrass knows what's up. This dope just zoomed in randomly and shook the camera all over the place, it was like watching a 5 year old with a camcorder. Good riddance. The film was enjoyable, but I really hope the next director is more on point. They need to try and stick to the books as MUCH as possible and the tributes, including Katniss, should not look like well-fed kids from the suburbs. A little more realism won't scare off the vapid 16 yr old teenage fans. Have a little courage and make the movie as gritty and raw as the books and as UNLIKE Twilight as possible.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • LovedTheBook

      I agree with you totally! The shakiness at the beginning as well as the extreme close ups during action scenes was very akward. You couldn't really see what was going on as the camera was up the actors noses!

      April 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      I agree, not only did they skip over character development, but the shaking bothered not only me but my sons...its annoying. I wonder why they film like that. It would have been more enjoyable without that style of filming.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • cringle22

      MEGADITTOS! the handheld camera style was overdone and poorly done in this movie. the irony is, this movie definitely lended itself to SOME handheld camera, perhaps even ALOT of handheld camera... but they still overdid it so much that i was already aggravated 5 min into the movie

      April 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      heard the camera motion was on purpose to get its rating....if not it would have been r cuz of the violence? just a thought

      April 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • GarPundit

      Next director: PLEEEEASE listen to Julie! That whole "JerkiCam" thing in the first half-hour or so of the movie was terrible! I had to close my eyes to avoid getting seasick, and thus I missed out on a lot of great acting and scenery. I was thankful that it went from wholesale yanking the camera around to merely mild twitching, so I could watch and enjoy the otherwise-great movie.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jimmy

    Do a twitter search on #zimmerman or pretty much anything to see how the blacks really are. Just animals straight out of the jungle.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      And look to comments like these to see that racism IS still alive. BTW im white...with RED HAIR. Biggest minority in the world lol

      April 11, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  36. Melissa

    Good. Maybe there won't be so many colored people on the next one.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • CN Red

      Maybe you will self implode.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Hunger Fan

      wow...don't think I've heard the term "colored people" in about 30 years...Your parents must be proud...

      April 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      What is wrong with you? Racist idiot

      April 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • seraphim0

      Wow, you're an idiot. I hope severely bad things happen to you.

      April 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • soccergirl00

      Are you kidding me? If you would have actually taken time to read the books, you would have read that Rue and Thresh are both dark skinned, implying that they were african american. Pull your head out of your ass and make educational statements.

      April 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Trixie

      Colored people?

      April 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nolan Ry

      April 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Wow! You truly are a piece of garbage Melissa.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stu

      I hope you're joking....

      April 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      Is there a problem with colored people? From what recent posts of people having a problem with Rue being black (In the movie), I assume it's because your reading (If you did read 'The Hunger Games') wasn't read thoroughly.
      What's the matter with colored people? This isn't your fantasy of everyone being one color.
      Cultural Diversity. Think about it.
      Maybe next time you'll have the generosity of at least thinking twice about posting another comment related to the one right now. Have respect.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Kenadee

      @Melissa You do realize that in 10 years; people of European Heritage will be the minority group in the United States don't you? In other words when you use the term "colored people" in the future you will be referring to yourself you racist piece of sh**

      April 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Krum

      "colored" people? are you friggin kidding? Did you know vernacular has changed in the past 50 years? So has what is considered socially acceptable. I hope they make the next movie with no one but African Americans (take note of the phrase would you?) That might keep your sorry as away. Try some education. That would involve opening your pathetically closes mind however.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      You may need to re-read the book(s) for comprehension.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      Maybe by colored people she's referring to the Capitol citizens who "colored" themselves.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • GarPundit

      To everyone else: Can we avoid playing the trolls' (like Melissa's) game? He/she may or may not truly be a racist, but the reason for the post is to hijack the conversation, not to express any meaningful opinion. I'm tired of wading through mountains of outraged replies, knowing that this is exactly what the poster wanted.

      Let me post the following sign: PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

      April 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      Wow really? Thats plain racist. It's in the book in case you haven't read it. Rue- DARK SKIN AND DARK EYES!

      April 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mik

      Well all I can say Thank God. The movie wasn't bad (my bad, I read the book first)... but all the HERKY JERKY in that film made my stomache turn, and really ruined the movie for me. Hopefully they will get a director who can hold the flippin' camera still for 1 minute.

      April 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trick

      Hope your meaning the brightly colored people in the city

      April 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |

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