Gary Ross Off Hunger Games Sequel?

Update! Not so fast...

Update: Sigh... This is turning into one of those typical "He said, the studio said" situations. Now Lionsgate has approached Deadline to say that all the talk of Ross departing is bunkum and that he's still in negotiations to return for Catching Fire. It's all turning into deal-making via the media, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens...

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Just yesterday, there came the latest word on how Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox had worked out who would get first dibs on Jennifer Lawrence’s acting services for the X-Men: First Class sequel and Hunger Games follow-up Catching Fire. At the end, we mentioned the fact that Gary Ross had yet to sign on to direct the next Games entry, and now comes word via The Playlist that he has, in fact, dropped out.

While no official announcement has been made (and, let’s face it, it’s rare for a studio to put out a “They’ve gone!” press release), the gang over at the Playlist have never been ones to make up rumours for hit-grabbing purposes and has heard that the main reason is not money, but that he’s looking to keep changing things up in his career. In this case, he’s apparently chosen to switch to something he’s written instead of tangling with Katniss and co again.

So now Lionsgate will be on the hunt for a new director to call the shots on Catching Fire, which is pencilled in for an autumn shoot and a November 22, 2013 release date.

Fans of the books and the slightly successful first film are already hitting Twitter to demand his return, but assuming this gets confirmed, acceptance will have to sink in. So the question is, who’s the right pick for Fire? Suggestions in the usual places, please, and vote below...

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