The Rumor in which Gary Ross is not directing Catching Fire has been confirmedish! This is not confirmed by Lionsgate.
Source: HungerGamesDWTCThe Playlist has learned that Gary Ross has officially exited the franchise and will not direct the sequel, formally giving Lionsgate and Summithis 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 another couple of years with Katniss in the Capitol (evidently, he also liked the first book best). And while the lowball salary offer probably didn’t help, Ross already has a fairly lucrative career as a screenwriter (and rewriter) and money isn’t really the issue. Simply put, the filmmaker is looking to change things up for this next effort.
While the details on what that project will be are still coming together, we’re told it will be something he has written that (ironically) will earn him a better payday that he would’ve received on “Catching Fire.” Essentially, it’s a win-win for Ross, who gets to move on to a project he developed for this fourth feature, and will allow him to do something different.