The Internet has been freaking out since Tuesday when The Hunger Games
director Gary Ross announced that he would not be returning to the director’s chair for the highly anticipated sequel Catching Fire
. The news is distressing to Games
fans since Ross not only directed but helped write the first movie with the trilogy’s author Suzanne Collins. According to the article in the Los Angeles Times
, Ross had already met with Collins and tapped screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire
) about the sequel before deciding to walk away from the franchise.
There’s still some debate amongst the rumor mill as to Ross’s exact reasons for leaving, but scheduling definitely seems to be a part of it. Catching Fire already has a set release date of Nov. 22, 2013 – only 19 months away. The production start also was pushed up to August when Fox announced that they would begin shooting the sequel to last year’s X-Men: First Class to January. Jennifer Lawrence, who stars in both films, is contractually obligated to make X-Men her schedule priority, thus giving Ross only four months to prepare for the shoot. He was given twice as long for The Hunger Games, which had a less complicated setting and action sequences, not to mention far less pressure to deliver.