The Hunger Games Director Gary Ross Will Not Direct Sequel
Posted on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:15 AM PDT

hungergamesposter_200.jpg LOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - The Hunger Games director Gary Ross will not return to direct the sequel Catching Fire. Amid media speculation that he would not continue to be part of the franchise, Ross released the following statement:

"After difficult but sincere consideration, I had decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and 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 studio decided to release their own statement regarding the 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."

The news comes on the heels of a sit down with studio executives and Ross on Monday, where key issues like shoot dates and visions for the mega blockbuster were discussed.

The movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, is slated for a November 2013 release.