Though we’re considering any report a rumor until Lionsgate confirms, we couldn’t help but get a case of the sadz thinking that our beloved director may not return. What would this mean for the franchise? Who could fill his shoes? Will he accept a bribe from the Hollywood Crush staff? These are the questions writer Kat Rosenfield and I pondered in a thoroughly comprehensive IM discussion this afternoon. Please read our thoughts, and weigh in with your own in the comments section.
Amy: So, Kat, it appears Gary may not be returning to direct “Catching Fire.” What’s your knee-jerk reaction to the rumors?
Kat: I think it would be something along the lines of, NOOOOOOOOOOOO *tears shirt off and falls to the ground as it begins to rain.*
So you’re Team Ross.
Kat: I appreciate continuity in a franchise.
I think there’s an unfortunate history here, where switching directors in mid-stream can make things disturbingly uneven.
Amy: Do you feel like that was the case with “Twilight” or “Harry Potter”?
Kat: Yes! I was particularly thinking of the terrible juxtaposition of “Harry Potter”/”Azkaban” with the bummer that was “Goblet of Fire.”
Amy: HOW DO YOU REALLY FEEL!?! But seriously, I’ll be disappointed too if the news is true. Gary seemed to have such a good understanding and passion for the franchise.
Kat: What I’m wondering is, if it’s true, will the next director attempt to keep Gary’s vision going?
I can just picture Tim Burton coming in and saying, “Okay folks, number one was fun and all, but ’Catching Fire’? WILL BE ENTIRELY DONE IN CLAYMATION.”
Amy: Claymation Johnny Depp would probably fit well in the Capitol.
Kat: He’d be worshiped like a deity. As would Helena Bonham Carter, now that I think about it.
Amy Our work here is done. But there are actually a number of directors I could see stepping in. Steven Soderbergh was a second-unit director on “Hunger Games.” So he’s already familiar with the world of Panem. And his films always have a stylish flair, fitting for the Capitol.
Kat: Plus we know he can work well with a big, diverse ensemble cast.
Kat: So, okay, Soderbergh: thumbs up!
Amy: Also, Debra Granik directed Jennifer in “Winter’s Bone.” Which has that same bleak, survival aesthetic. And Jen did get an Oscar nod for that film.
Kat: Yes! I would love to see Debra on board for “Mockingjay,” actually, for exactly that reason. Although “Catching Fire”… if I remember right, that has some pretty fancifiul shizz going down.
Amy: The jungle! More hybrid crazy creatures!
Kat: And the clockwork arena! That’s going to take some artistry.
Amy: For serious. I guess the big question is, Gary is so beloved by fans…Will they embrace a new director, you think?
Kat: Historically, I think we can pretty much count on that—no matter how much fans complain, at the end of the day, they want their movie. But a new director would really stack the deck in his/her favor by making a big deal about loyalty to the source material. Which I think was Gary’s big selling point as well.
Amy: It helped that he, you know, co-wrote the script too. That level of involvement is hard to argue with.
Kat: I know, he was so clearly devoted to the books and to Suzanne Collins’ vision.
Ugh, Gary. GARY! DON’T GO!
Amy: I have $3 in my wallet. Do you think that’s enough for a bribe?
Kat: Maybe if you promise a sandwich in the bargain.
I hear he likes sandwiches.
(Okay, that’s a lie, I’ve heard no such thing… but everyone likes sandwiches, right?)
Amy: I’m not friends with people who don’t like sandwiches; they’re the perfect meal.
…And now we’re hosting our own version of The Hunger Games.
So in summary: We don’t want Gary Ross to leave, but, the franchise can and should carry on without him. Anything else to add?
Kat: If you’re making Gary Ross a sandwich can you make me one, too?
Amy: Yes. But I’m not giving you $3.
Kat: Fair enough. And I have nothing more to say about the directorial dilemma. Except that whoever it is, they’d better not blow it.
Amy: Or else.