The Hunger Games franchise is on a desperate hunt for a new director to head their sequel Catching Fire, now that director Gary Ross has stepped away from ‘The Hunger Games’ project. “Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire,” Ross said in a statement.
Ross mentioned time as the key factor for why he chose not to direct the Hunger Games sequel. “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.”
Lionsgate also released a statement regarding the director’s departure:
“We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film, and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.”
Catching Fire already has Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth attached, and it is slated to be released November 2013.