Exclusive: Gary Ross Leaves 'The Hunger Games' Franchise, Won't Direct 'Catching Fire' Sequel

"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.

Though recent trade reports have spun the story as being an issue mostly about money, that’s pretty much a small part of the motivation. Ross has never been a filmmaker that repeats himself (going from satire in “Pleasantville” to horse racing drama in “Seabiscuit” and action in “The Hunger Games”) and we’re told the burning desire simply isn’t there to spend »

- Kevin Jagernauth”

Frankly, as I’ve told my friend, I really don’t care if Gary Ross would still be the director or not. I think he just did an OK job, not a great job. I do like the fact that he really stuck with the flow however, there was lack of imagination and possibly more creativity. He could have pulled more emotions out of the actors to make the scenes better, but he seemed to have stayed on the safer side, which I think was a terrible mistake. What I’m alarmed of is the possible delay, and if whether the director they’ll get, would be smart enough to stick to the flow but be more creative in showing it.