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When "The Hunger Games" director Gary Ross bowed out of the sequel "Catching Fire," he cited "the fixed and tight production schedule" as his reason. Rumors swirled then that Ross might have another project (a script of his own making) in mind for his next project, but now it looks like he might be tackling the world of "Houdini" for Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ross is in negotiations to direct "Houdini," an adaptation of the William Kalush and Larry Sloman 2006 biography "The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America's First Superhero" which suggested that real-life magician Harry Houdini had a hand in some British espionage activity during his prime. Summit, long before being purchased by Lionsgate, nabbed the film rights to the book in 2009 and had Noah Oppenheim pen the script.
Ross, of course, is famous for developing his own film scripts, so if he does attach to the film, he'll no doubt need some time to re-work the screenplay.
Lionsgate's reaction statement to Ross' decision to leave "Catching Fire" read, "[t]his 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." Looks like that may prove true sooner than later.
Oddly enough, The Hollywood Reporter also notes that Ross' "Catching Fire" replacement Francis Lawrence is attached to a Houdini-related project over at Columbia Pictures.