‘Hunger Games’ Director Gary Ross Not Returning For ‘Catching Fire’?

Lionsgate and a rep for Ross have no comment on Playlist report.

That sound you hear is a cannon firing in the distance, because a new report is claiming “Hunger Games” director Gary Ross will not be returning for the sequel, “Catching Fire.”

The Playlist is reporting that Ross informed Lionsgate and Summit earlier this week that he would not return to direct the sequel to the box-office smash, which has made $263 million to date.

This directly contradicts a report from The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week that indicated that negotiations between Ross and the studio were ongoing but tough. According to that story, the issue simply came down to money, something the Playlist story calls a “small part of the motivation.” Lionsgate reportedly paid Ross a relatively low $3 million for “The Hunger Games,” with 5 percent of the back end.

MTV News reached out to both Lionsgate and Gary Ross. The studio had no comment, and a rep for Ross said he was traveling and could not comment at this time.

The Playlist explained that Ross’ departure from the series based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels comes from the director’s desire to work on something different. The report also says that his next project could be one he’s written himself and one that could earn him more money than directing “Catching Fire” would have.

The news of Ross’ departure comes right on the heels of word that Fox and Lionsgate have agreed to a filming schedule for their shared star Jennifer Lawrence. The sequel to “X-Men: First Class” will begin filming this January to make room for “Catching Fire,” which shoots later this year.

There’s no word yet on who could potentially replace Ross, but our own “Hunger Games” columnist Amy Wilkinson had some ideas of her own.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Catching Fire.”

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