Gary Ross Will NOT Be Directing ‘Catching Fire’

NOOOOOOO, WHAT IS THIS BLASPHEMY?! After many rumors and speculation, it has been announced that Gary Ross will not be directing the next Hunger Games movie “Catching Fire.”

I’m actually so upset at this news. I really thought Ross did an amazing job filming the first movie. I mean, it did beat many records and earned one of the highest opening weekends so far. However, in a statement released by Gary Ross himself, he says it is not about the salary but about the time constraints placed on the filming and production.

Read his full statement below:

“Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.

I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.

To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Awe, this is really sad. But let’s hope that the director chosen for ‘Catching Fire‘ will be amazing because he will have some REALLY big shoes to fill.

What do you think of Gary Ross dropping out of filming ‘Catching Fire’? Do you think that the next movie will be better or worse than the first one?