Wait, so Gary Ross HASN’T Left the Hunger Games Sequel Yet?

Jennifer Lawrence and Gary Ross on the set of The Hunger Games (2012) Movie ImageIt appears news of Gary Ross voluntarily vacating the director’s chair of “The Hunger Games” sequel, “Catching Fire” has been greatly exaggerated. Or at least, a tad premature.

Deadline now reports that Ross has NOT formally handed over his quitting papers to Lionsgate/Summit, and is in fact on a family vacation and can’t be reached for comment. (That’s what they call “convenient”.) As you’ll recall, a previous report from The Playlist had Ross handing in his papers earlier in the week and was officially out of the sequel, with the studio now looking for a replacement. The culprit? Ross wanted a raise for the sequel, and Lionsgate was apparently not biting.

Deadline, citing unnamed sources, is calling bullshit on that. Their reasoning? “The Hunger Games” is the biggest hit of Ross’ career, and he actually lobbied very hard to get the director’s gig, so it didn’t make sense for him to just throw it away now over “a salary squabble”. Plus, he’s been working on the sequel script with author Suzanne Collins and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy since November of last year.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who knows. We’ll find out when we find out, I guess.

“Catching Fire”, meanwhile, is the second in the three-book trilogy from Collins. It picks up where “The Hunger Games” left off, and leads into the third book, “Mockingjay”, which brings everything to a head in what can only be described as all-out war between Katniss and President Snow, along with a third, as yet unseen faction.

Gary Ross