Hunger Games Director Gary Ross May Not Return for Sequel (Though He Probably Will)

Gary Ross, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam HemsworthBut yeah, there is apparently a chance that Gary Ross may not return for the sequel, given that he was “only” paid $3 million to co-write and direct the first movie. Now while you and I would kill to have someone pay us $3 million to write and direct a movie, ANY movie, for a director of Ross’ pedigree (with hits like “Pleasantville” and “Seabiscuit” in his bag), he was definitely taking a pay cut. Then again, he did signed on for 5% of the film’s backend, and given that “The Hunger Games” has since scored $368 million in just two weeks of release, that 5% will prove to be quite lucrative when all the receipts are counted.

But to hear THR tell it, besides that nice chunk of the backend, Ross would also like a nice raise on his upfront paycheck, too. And that, we’re told, may end Ross’ involvement with the film’s sequel, “Catching Fire”, which Lionsgate has already set for a 2013 release date.

“Slumdog Millionaire’s” Simon Beaufoy has already turned in a draft for the sequel, and Ross, if he does end up signing back on, is expected to revise it before directing. When all is said and done, though, “sources” are telling the trade that Ross will get his raise and Lionsgate will bring him back to direct the sequel. After all, why would the studio change directors now, after the first part of a major franchise has become such a big hit? Who would do such a thing?

Um, ask Catherine Hardwicke ala “Twilight”… It can, and does, happen.

Josh Hutcherson, Director Gary Ross, and Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games (2012) Movie Image