Coming after the rumours that Gary Ross would not be returning to the Hunger Games franchise (reported on this site on Monday 9 April), I can unfortunately confirm that news of Ross’ departure is true. Yesterday (Tuesday 10) Ross released this statement:
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 also commented on Ross’ departure:
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.
So what do you guys think? Are you unhappy at the news or do you feel that a new director can do the sequels the same justice that Ross did to The Hunger Games?
We previously reported that Indiewire had exclusive information that The Hunger Games director, Gary Ross, would not be returning to the franchise to direct Catching Fire, the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy.
New reports are stemming from The Hollywood Reporter stating that Gary is still in negotiations, and the resume today –
The Hunger Gamesdirector Gary Ross is set to meet with Lionsgate executives on Monday for a key meeting that will help determine his role in the follow-up to the mega-blockbuster.
Contrary to previous media reports, Ross—who returned from a vacation in Italy on Friday—has not exited the booming franchise. But he is not yet signed to return for the second installment, Catching Fire, and sources say the filmmaker is concerned about an ambitious production schedule that would require shooting to begin in August so that star Jennifer Lawrence can complete her work before she is due to start filming a sequel to Fox’s X-Men: First Classin January.
THR reported last week that Fox has informed studios and talent agencies of its planned start date for the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men movie. Since Fox’s deal with Lawrence predates her contract for Hunger Games, X-Men is in a priority position. With the script for the second Hunger Gamesnot yet locked, that means all preparations for a sequel would have to be done in four months—a tough schedule to meet.
Sources describe the negotiations between Ross and Lionsgate as delicate. In addition to his concerns about the schedule, THR reported on Wednesday that the filmmaker would like a raise from the $3 million (and 5 percent of backend) that he received for the first film, which has passed $450 million in worldwide box office and received an 85 percent “fresh” rating from critics on Rottentomatoes.com. Ross, an accomplished screenwriter and director (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) has several other projects in development and could choose to pursue any of them.
You can read the rest of the article here.
Down With the Capitol staffer Shylah has launched a petition for the return of Gary Ross to the “Hunger Games” Movie franchise. While Lionsgate has not yet confirmed the director’s resignation, fans have already been protesting it on various fansites and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Shylah has this to say about why Gary Ross should direct “Catching Fire” and all subsequent movies, and what fans can do to make that happen:
Keeping Gary at the helm for all films in the franchise means continuity, both in style and theme. It means that we get one complete journey (like in Lord of the Rings) instead of a fragmented mosaic (like in Harry Potter). If any story deserves to be told as one complete journey, it is The Hunger Games.
We want Gary Ross back, and we know you do, too; and, fortunately, with nothing confirmed officially, we may still have time to make a difference in this decision. Fans, especially passionate fans, have made great things happen before. They’ve saved TV shows from cancellation. They’ve brought TV shows back from cancellation. They’ve pushed cancelled TV shows to be extended into feature length films. Fans have power.
Want to participate in this movement? Here’s some ways you can help…
Create a short Youtube video asking for Gary Ross to come back for Catching Fire. Feel free to express your thoughts and be passionate, but remember to remain polite and courteous. At the end of the video, please thank Gary for his work on the “Hunger Games” Movie and give him the three-fingered salute.
When you upload your video, title it “Gary Ross Is Boss – [Your Name Here]” and tag it with “GaryRossIsBoss” (excluding the quotations). Your submission will be featured on the GaryRossIsBoss Youtube channel.
If posting a video doesn’t sound appealing, you can also send a picture of yourself doing the three-fingered salute and holding a sign that says “Gary Ross Is Boss” with the Youtube channel link to [email protected] These pictures will also be collected and made into a Youtube video.
Not interested in either of those options? Just sign this Twitter petition!
For a prompt for your Youtube video and more information, visit Shylah’s Tumblr.
This all seems a little preemptive to me, as Gary Ross’ departure has not even been verified. But, if he’s truly considering leaving the franchise, maybe the fans can join together and persuade him to stay. As always, we’ll try to keep you updated on this situation!
Check out some of the “Gary Ross Is Boss” videos after the break!
Indiewire is reporting that The Hunger Games director, Gary Ross, will not be returning to the franchise to direct Catching Fire this fall -
While this morning it was reported that Lionsgate and Fox worked out their scheduling issues to allow Jennifer Lawrence to shoot “Catching Fire” and the “X-Men: First Class” sequel essentially back-to-back, it looks like before cameras can start rolling on “The Hunger Games” sequel this fall, the studio will need to find a director. The Playlist has learned that Gary Ross has officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel, formally giving Lionsgate and Summit his notice earlier this week, that he will not be coming back.
Check out the rest of the details over at our sister site, CatchingFireMovie.org!
NOTE: This is NOT confirmed by Lionsgate. We will consider this a rumor until we hear from them directly.
Catching Fire Part 1 is on track for a November 2013 release and the final film Mockingjay Part 3 is on schedule for 2019. Jennifer Lawrence and director Gary Ross have both signed on for all six movies.
“The amount of storytelling in the next two books requires a lot more screen time,” Ross says. “We couldn’t do it without six more.”
Ross has some interesting ideas for the rest of the films. “We’re writing Catching Fire Part 2 as a musical, with the cast performing dialogue in the universal language of song. For Mockingjay 3 we’ll do a silent film. I was really touched by The Artist.”
Gary Ross was kind enough to respond to some of the “Hunger Games” fans’ burning questions concerning the process of making and editing the movie. In the following interview, he discusses artistic vision vs. commercial vision, developing the Gamemakers’ control room, and whether or not he wishes he could’ve added additional scenes to the film.
Q. Gary, what was the biggest challenge that you encountered in the editing room? Also — just because I love my state — how did you like North Carolina? Would you be wanting to come back for future projects? — Savanah, North Carolina
A. I think the biggest challenge was keeping the feeling of dread and tension alive in the first part of the film. It would have been easy for these “games” to feel like an abstract concept (the first part of the movie has no real IMMEDIATE threat to the tributes) and yet the characters are facing near certain death. The tone that was established in the reaping was essential in doing that. Steven Mirrione and I did quite a bit of restructuring in the first half to make sure the tension did not abate. As for your state, I LOVED it. And I miss Asheville very very much and I can’t wait to go back.
Q. Given the tremendous pressure to make this movie a blockbuster, there must have been even more of a tension than usual between your artistic vision and the commercial one. How did you have to modify that artistic vision to arrive at the movie as released? — Ken N., San Francisco
A. Actually, I felt the only way to make the film really successful was to be totally subjective (Suzanne wrote in the first person present). So I tried to put “commercial” considerations out of my mind. You can’t really make a movie by worrying about the marketplace and I always felt the only way to realize this story was to make it as personal as I could. I also felt this couldn’t feel or look like other “franchises” without sacrificing the naturalism the story needed. It helped being in the woods a long way from Hollywood.
Director Gary Ross talked to a lot of kids while researching The Hunger Games, and he found it was popular with them for a few reasons. ”Obviously it’s the spectacle, and the heroine.”
But really, to a kid, it’s about “Katniss’s humanity,” how she felt about her younger sister Prim, how she “connected with Rue” and “grew as a person.” In this futuristic, brutal, authoritarian culture “this is a girl who fights to be human. Once she rings the bell, who she is as a individual, she can’t go back.”
“That’s very reassuring to kids.” Katniss struggles throughout the movie with “how human can I stay when I have to scratch and claw for my own survival?”
On Jennifer Lawrence, she “floored” Ross during her screen test. At that point, Ross, who will direct the sequels “could see the whole movie, forget about casting Jen.”
“Oh, my God, not only is this going to work, but it’s going have nuance and colors that I couldn’t even imagine.”
What do you think has made it so popular?
Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, & Director Gary Ross at the New York City Screening of ‘The Hunger Games’
Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, director Gary Ross and Isabelle Fuhrman attended the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of The Hunger Games at SVA Theatre in New York City on March 20th!
Gorgeous! Love Jennifer’s dress!
[Source: celebrity gossip]
Sneak Peek of ‘Reelz Channel’s ‘Inside the Arena’ with Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, and Gary Ross
The Hunger Games | Jennifer Lawrence | ReelzChannel Specials | Movie Trailer | Review
We previously mentioned the Reelz Channel tv special on the Hunger Games called Inside the Arena, so here is a sneak peek from some of the interviews to be shown. We have Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, and Gary Ross. The Hunger Games: Inside the Arena premieres Wednesday, March 21st at 7:30pm ET/ 4:30pm PT. See our previous post to find out where you can watch this Reelz Channel special.
As is to be expected with any book-to-movie adaptation, some aesthetics, scenes, and even characters from the “Hunger Games” could not jump through all the hoops of the digital modification process and were unfortunately cut out. On the bright side, the movie was able to also push past literary boundaries and allow us a 360° perspective at all aspects of the story. We have already heard about additional scenes with President Snow in his rose garden created specifically to further dig into his character, but there is another invented moment after Rue’s death when Panem citizens (most likely from District 11) spark a feverish riot. Director Gary Ross told MTV that the scene was included to propel events that occur in “Catching Fire” early on.
“I thought it was important that you begin to start to make the turn into ‘Catching Fire,’ that you see the seeds of the rebellion, you see what Katniss has caused,” says Ross. “It’s a change ['HG' author] Suzanne [Collins] loves. It’s something that she’s fully embraced as well, that you begin to see the incipient beginnings of this rebellion.”
Gary says one exclusion involving the Avox Katniss meets in the Capitol was particularly challenging to pass over.
“There’s a subplot that Suzanne goes into, which I love, which is about this girl, almost a precursor to Katniss, who was engaged in a flight toward freedom, apprehended by the Capitol, turned into an Avox,” he explains. “It was just that there was no room for that in the storytelling, unfortunately. The William Faulkner line is, ‘You have to kill your darlings.’ That was one that unfortunately fell by the wayside. I was sorry about it.”
Every time I hear Gary Ross talk about the “Hunger Games” my respect for him increases. He’s just awesome. He’s good at what he does, and he understands and is passionate for Suzanne Collin’s series. Haven’t even see the first movie and already I’m excited for Catching Fire!
See the rest of the videos with Gary Ross after the break!