‘Hunger Games’ Director Not Yet Confirmed for Sequel, ‘Catching Fire’ [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 24th, 2013 at 9:30 am,


The movie adaptation of The Hunger Games is an undisputed box office success, with a record-setting opening and over $350 million at the worldwide box office. One would think that with such a high level of achievement, Hunger Games director Gary Ross would be a lock for the in-development sequel, Catching Fire, but this apparently not the case.

We now have reports coming in that Ross in is pivotal negotiations with Lionsgate, the studio behind The Hungers Games, and that his return is far from being a sure thing.

To understand this situation, you first need some context:

As stated, Lionsgate owns The Hunger Games movies, and recently the studio merged with another small studio: Summit Entertainment, which owns The Twilight Saga movies. Summit had great financial success with Twilight in large part because of smart financial management; locking the principal cast into manageable contracts for each successive film, and (here’s the part to note) switching directors between each installment of the series. Therein lies the issue that Lionsgate now faces.

THR reports Gary Ross is seeking an increased payday for Catching Fire. Negotiations between Ross and Lionsgate for the firsts Hunger Games were apparently tense, and the Oscar-nominated director took just $3 million to both direct and co-write the script. Given Ross’ prestige and his heavy involvement with crafting HG, $3 million is really not that much (at least, in Hollywood terms). The studio didn’t seal a sequel deal with Ross before Hunger Games debuted in theaters; its  huge opening has only strengthened Ross’ bargaining position – especially if he’s once again expected to pull double duty, aiding Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy with the Catching Fire script.

Ross with Hutcherson and Lawrence on 'Hunger Games' set

Both the Harry Potter and Twilight movie franchises made it a policy to switch directors often, resulting in some quality films (Alfonso Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban Potter film; David Slade’s Eclipse) and some not-so-quality installments (David Yates’ much-derided Order of the Phoenix; Chris Weitz reprehensible New Moon). The Hunger Games could roll the dice on a new director and could, conceivably, end up better for it (that is, if you ask those who were put-off by Ross’ close-quarter, shaky-cam shooting style). On the other hand, the studio could end up with a generic director who might not be so bold in his stylistic choices, but doesn’t really impress all that much, either (see: the directors of both Clash and Wrath of the Titans).

The cast is, of course, already locked for sequels (of which three are currently planned), so fans can breathe easy that their favorite Hunger Games characters will be back, at least.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of Catching Fire as news comes to light.

Source: THR

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  1. Takeshi Miike or Mel Gibson should direct the sequel

  2. Hate his directing style. Bring on a new director.
    My only beef with this movie was him. Shaky camera works in few films and is annoying in most.

    • He has said he is going to take a different approach to filming Catching Fire, no shaky cam….

      He also wrote the script, take him out and we’ll lose a lot of those sweet additions in Catching Fire.

      Finally, the shaky cam wasn’t as bad people make it seem. So please, shut up about that.

      • um, i don’t think it’s fair to tell people to “shut-up” about something they didn’t like about the movie. their opinion is as valid as yours after all.

        • The shaky cam was OTT. Pretty good film though.

    • Watched it out at a drive-in, and the shaky cam made all of us a little nauseous. Couple times I had to look away, and the whole time I was thinking “Has this director ever heard of a godd*mn steadycam?” Other than that, we enjoyed it immensely.

  3. I think someone like duncan jones should direct the sequal. He has done 2 great science fiction movies that being source code and moon. I think he could make a great movie. cause I doubt someone as popular as fincher or nolan would helm a movie like that lol

    • hell yeah! great call man I loved moon

    • hell yeah! great call man

    • Great Call Indeed!!! :)

      • He turned down “Dredd” because he would want to start from scratch and do it his way in every respect. I can’t see him towing the line to fit in with what has already been established in HG. But It would be a good career move if he did.

  4. I don’t understand why they need to keep breaking the final book into two parts. I mean the book is only 300+ pages not a 1000. If any film needed to be in two parts it’s all of the LOTR trilogy.

    • Well… lets say for example that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part ONE made Worldwide: $956,399,711 according to Boxoffice Mojo

      and part 2 made Worldwide: $1,328,111,219 also according to Box office mojo.

      Well… if it had only been ONE MOVIE… you can just forget all about that other One billion, three hundred and eighteen million, one hundred and eleven thoused, two hundred and nineteen dollars.

      …And that MY FRIEND is why they split the last book into 2 movies.

      • Yes the Harry Potter movies made more money for Part 2 then Part 1, but i don’t think it will be the same for THG.

        While reading the HP books, I thought they were getting better and better until the end. During the final book J.K. Rowling allowed the book to be long enough and the ending was satisfying. From most reviews and comments i’ve read a lot of people thought the third book was the worst and weakest of the three. (I thought books 1 and 2 were on the same level and Mockingjay fell short, especially with the rushed ending. (How do you kill the cornerstone of the whole book series in one paragraph and not talk about it any more?)

        I think this maybe Brandon’s point. Why would the worst book be split into two movies? Where would you split the book anyways? At least HP had enough action in both parts to warrant it being split into two.

        Will THG make a ton of money either way because its split into movies…yes I believe so, but I think it will come at a cost to those who read and enjoyed the books. To be honest I believe the first book should have been split up into two movies, (this would have helped solve most complaints) but with that said I’m happy with the movie.

        • I actually liked Mockingjay the best of the series. The first two books were SO predictable. I felt like she had a lot of really great ideas and could’ve made the series something truly awesome, but she never breaks into it’s true potential. They were mostly just frustrating for me. Also the character development in the first two was not that good. *SPOILERS* Peeta and Gale both have no flaws to speak of until Mockingjay; when Peeta finally stops thinking the sun shines out of Katniss’ bum and she finally realizes just how selfish and stupid she has been. Mockingjay was actually unpredictable at times and Collins actually explores those moral questions that she sets up so well to the extent they deserve. I found it quite refreshing from the staleness of the first two – despite Katniss spending 90% of the novel in the hospital :P

  5. If you are going to change directors. Hire someone who knows what they are doing. Someone that has at least 1 other good movie already on their resume.

    • ^^^
      couldn’t agree more with your assessment. I too felt the first two books were predictable and the third was a huge improvement.

  6. NO. I loved Gary’s approach on THG and I would be upset if they changed directors :(

  7. david yates

    • hell no! David Yates is why Phoenix sucked… It’s bad enough they’ve got him directing Doctor Who: The Movie… don’t let him ruin anything else…

      • Order of the Phoenix had plenty of flaws, yes, but Yates got so much better with each movie. HP7: Part 1 being the best of all 8. (Yes, it was.)

        • I think the last one is the best potter flick.

          • I feel like Part 1 had better character development/drama and it built intensity really, really well so that when those big moments like the fight with Nagini or the horcrux (especially the horcrux, that scene blew my mind) finally did come along, it felt more significant. Part 2, while good, focused a bit too much on the action. And I know they were trying to please audiences and most people like to watch things blow up, but I’ve always preferred character interactions to explosions.

        • I agree HP7 Part 1 was soooo much better then Part 2. Part 2 seemed like the story took a back seet to the action. I hated film 5, maybe because that was my favorite book next to 7. I like Gary Ross, he did better then I expected with HG so I think he will do a great job with CF. However I also agree with the comment that Yates improved with each film, just not enought content with HP7 Part2.

          • I actually liked Order of the Phoenix; probably because Goblet of Fire left the taste of bile in my mouth afterwards. OOTF, while unbearably cheesy at times, actually stuck nicely to the books and I took note of the serious improvements in the cinematography. I mean come on – that fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort – pretty badass.

            • I think the acting was probably my least favorite part of 5 and that wasn’t david yates fault. I really didn’t care for it, I know a lot of fans love it because it was closer to the book then most of the HP films. I just thought visualy and acting wise I saw an improvement with each one.

  8. Yes. This series needs a new director. This first movie was very meh; awful camerawork, cheesy dialogue, nothing different, unique, or daring about it. I can’t think of any good examples for new directors, but it needs to be someone who can direct action well and still knows how to create dramatic character moments – as well as understands all the symbolism of the book and how to translate it to film. Tricky search indeed.

    • New thought: Spielberg would actually be perfect. He’s great at making things tense and fast paced while never letting it stray into too dark of territory. Unfortunately I don’t think someone as big Spielberg would ever to be able to do something like this. Shame.

      • Its not a war movie or a biopic so he won’t do it… plus it would. Be overly dramtic like war horse. I like the idea of duncan jones maybesomeone who is a writer and had been 2nd unit director before. It would be nice to see someone new get a chance

        • I was thinking of him more in his Jurassic Park/Indiana Jones/Jaws days.

  9. They should stop. The film sucks

    • Great contribution, as always, Trill. Truly brilliant observation…sheesh. Just stop. Please.

      • at least he didn’t mention ryan gosling.

        • Ryan gosling for finnick haha jk

      • I can’t express how I feel about this film? I think the movie sucks and it’s overrated. Smh

        Ryan Gosling saved a lady from dying a couple of days ago.

        • Of course, you can express your opininon. You can even RANT about your opinion…but WHY do you have to say the exact same thing every time? You don’t even offer any reasons; you don’t support your constant complaining. You just incessantly complain. It gets old…fast.