Hugely successful “Hunger Games” director Gary Ross may not be returning to direct its sequel, “Catching Fire.”
Though sources are conflicting, rumors have swirled that Ross is hoping to move on from the franchise and direct a film he wrote himself — which would ultimately result in a larger payday for him.
Ross does have a writing credit on “The Hunger Games” alongside Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray.
The Playlist reports that Ross told Lionsgate and Summit that he would not be returning to the franchise. While THR claims that negotiation problems were rooted in money — Ross was paid a relatively low $3 million for the first film — Playlist claims that money is only a small part of Ross’ motivation to leave.
Ross has thus far had no comment on the situation.
Meanwhile, one part of the “Catching Fire” plan has been worked out. Star Jennifer Lawrence had schedule conflicts due to her commitment to the “X-Men: The First Class” sequel, but Lionsgate and FOX have arranged their filming schedules so that Lawrence can appear in both movies. She’ll shoot “Catching Fire” in North Carolina this autumn and begin production on “X-Men” in January.