The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire will not be directed by Gary Ross.
Indiewire has learned that Ross formally told Lionsgate earlier this week that he is stepping away from the franchise to work on his own feature, one that will pay him more than Catching Fire would have. Details on what that project is remain under wraps.
Just last night we reported that Fox had scheduled their X-Men: First Class sequel for a January 2013 production start, clearing star Jennifer Lawrence’s fall slate to film Catching Fire. It was believed Ross was negotiating to helm Catching Fire and receive a pay bump for doing so, but apparently he had his mind made up to move on and leave the Panem Capitol behind. The low ball money offer from Lionsgate probably made it easier for Ross to move on.
One of the biggest fan gripes with Ross was his insistance on using “shaky-cam” for the action sequences. This helped mask the violence, but also made those sequences hard to focus on.
Catching Fire will still shoot this fall, and now Lionsgate is on the hunt for a new director to jump in and steer the mega-millions franchise. There’s no guarantee that whoever comes on board won’t also go the “shaky-cam” route.