'Hunger Games' Fans: Read This to Learn Who Gary Ross Is

[caption id="attachment_6204" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Scholastic"]Hunger Games[/caption]

The buzz is seriously heating up surrounding the upcoming adaptation of the hit Suzanne Collins book "The Hunger Games," and the latest name to set the internet on fire is none other than Gary Ross himself. Gary Ross!

Okay, okay, you can stop Googling now, we'll tell you just who the hell Ross is: he's the respected director of movies like "Seabiscuit" and "Pleasantville," both of which were nominated for multiple Academy Awards. And while those films might not immediately scream "Katniss Everdeen" to you, it's apparently enough for Lionsgate, as Variety is reporting that Ross was making the rounds at their American Film market party to chat people up regarding the movie.

"The Hunger Games," as if you didn't already know, is the first in a trilogy that tells the tale of girl -- Everdeen, of course -- who is forced to battle other teens to the death on a televised reality show. The series of books from Collins has become wildly popular and many Hollywood insiders expect the series to go completely nuclear when the movies come out and presumably fill the gap left by the ending of both the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series.

That prospect has proven enough of a draw to get just about every Tom, Dick and Sam Mendes to throw their hat into the ring for a role in the production; we previously reported that Mendes and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" director David Slade were both vying with Ross and several others for the director's chair, while "Twlight's" Jodelle Ferland posted pictures of herself decked out as Katniss online earlier this week in a possible grab for the part.

Now it appears that Ross has apparently won the role of director, which means that Ferland and all the other hopeful young actresses can email him their glossies directly instead of using twitter.

Honestly, we're not as concerned with who is going to be behind the camera as we are with who is going to be in front of it, but we figure Ross will do just fine; whoever ends up directing, the movie will still be produced by Nina Jacobson ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid") from a screenplay by Collins herself, so we're just happy they've found someone because that means they can finally get down to brass tacks and start casting people.

But we're happy for Ross. After all, the gig is already paying dividends -- thanks to this report, fans now actually know who he is. That's a step in the right direction.