'Hunger Games' director Gary Ross won't make 'Catching Fire'

11

April

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With The Hunger Games being the hottest property in Hollywood since Twilight (but with a way better opening weekend), you'd expect Gary Ross would be champing at the bit to direct the followup, Catching Fire. Alas, no,

"Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire," Ross said in a statement released by Lionsgate, according to Deadline.com. "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."

He goes on to say that he loved the studio and the cast and crew and "it was the happiest experience of my professional life" and blah blah blah, while Lionsgate, which is said to be "in shock," noted in its own release, "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." Meanwhile, Ross is likely off to work on a sequel to Seabiscuit or something that doesn't pay anywhere near as well.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:49pm]

    

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