We recently talked about the possibility that The Hunger Games director Gary Ross might not return to direct the sequel Catching Fire because negotiations with the studio weren't going well. His film made a hell of a lot of money at the box office, and he wanted a raise to come back and direct its sequel.
Well, according to The Playlist Ross has officially left the project and will not be coming back to direct the sequel. The site goes on to explain that the reason he left just isn't about the money. Another part of it is that he just doesn't have that "burning desire" to spend another two years with the story and characters. Apparently he only liked the first book the best, and the low salary he was being offered wasn't enough to spark his interest in coming back. He will move on to another project that he feels passionate about, one that he wrote. What's funny is that he'll also make more money on this new project than he would have made on Catching Fire. So in the end Ross wins.
It's a shame he won't be directing the sequel, I really loved what he did with the first film. That being said, I don't think his departure is going to hurt the sequel. Sure I'd like him to come back to direct, but lets face it... Regardless of who's directing the next movie, fans of the books are going to flock to the theaters to see it. Chances are it will still do better than the first movie. I think the studio knows this which is why they aren't sweating it.
The studio is obvious searching for a new director to take Ross' place. They hope to start shooting the sequel this fall, for a release date of November 22nd, 2013. What do you all think about Ross leaving the franchise? Does it even matter to you?