After "difficult but sincere consideration," director Gary Ross says he won't be heading back into The Hunger Games arena for the film's sequel, Catching Fire.
He calls making The Hunger Games the "happiest experience of [his] professional life" and received both fan support and critical acclaim for the first film in the trilogy, but blames his exit on time constraints. "As a writer and a director, I simply don't have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of [Catching Fire's] fixed and tight production schedule," Gary says.
READ IT: J-14 Flick Pick: The Hunger Games
"I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with... the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends," Gary continues. "To the fans, I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It's been a wonderful experience."
The good news is that Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson will all return for the sequel! No word yet on which director will step in to fill Gary's shoes, but Catching Fire is still scheduled to be released in November 2013.
Do you think Gary Ross did a good job directing The Hunger Games? Who would you like to see direct Catching Fire?
Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate