‘The Hunger Games‘ is enjoying massive box office numbers and the critics are playing nice. However, Gary Ross, the man who directed the first film of the trilogy, will not be returning to take the helm for ‘Catching Fire.’ I have yet to read/see it. Throw the rotten tomatoes and boo, but my free time is spent
drinking obscene amounts of rum while seeing how long I can coherently play Words with Friends bottle feeding orphaned kittens.
So, what is the reason we will not see Gary’s interpretation of the Suzanne Collins novels? He released a statement that basically blamed scheduling conflicts. The full statement, plus Lionsgate’s response is after the cut. Click ‘Read More…’ below and bring a Lunchable because it’s loooong.
“Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. 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.
I loved making The Hunger Games – it was 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.
Lionsgate issued a similar, but shorter statement that was dipped in Splenda and rolled in rainbows…
“We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. 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.”
This leaves fans wondering who will takeover as director for ‘Catching Fire.’ I suppose we can rule out Michael Bay as Katniss would spend nearly 3 hours in a bikini, Peeta would be turned into a cyborg with punchy one liners before gratuitous explosions deafened the audience.
Click HERE to see how Jennifer Lawrence angered PETA….