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Gary Ross, 'Catching Fire': 'Hunger Games' Director Reportedly Bows Out Of Sequel [UPDATE]

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 6/2012 11:57 am Updated: 04/ 7/2012 2:25 pm

Gary Ross Catching Fire

Gary Ross seemed positively ecstatic about returning to direct "Catching Fire," the sequel to "The Hunger Games," when Moviefone chatted with the director earlier this year.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Simon Beaufoy ['Slumdog Millionaire'], who's a writer I've been a fan of for a long, long time, is doing the script. I can't write the 'Catching Fire' script right now because I'm finishing ['Hunger Games'], and we're on a schedule where the script has to get written right now. So I'm unbelievably fortunate that someone like Simon is going to be writing the script. [...] That's a thrill. He's somebody that I respect and I just love his work."

It looks like Ross will have to continue to respect and love Beaufoy's work from afar: according to Indiewire's blog The Playlist, Ross has decided against directing "Catching Fire."

Per the site, Ross's decision wasn't a monetary one, but a matter of not wanting to do the same thing over again. That flies in the face of reports from earlier this week, which revealed that negotiations between Ross and "Hunger Games" studio Lionsgate had gone south.

Ross was paid only $3 million to direct "The Hunger Games," which has earned $377 million worldwide since its release on March 23. The director will reportedly get a five-percent cut of the backend, but he wanted a significant raise for the second film, which is set to start shooting in August or September.

Before "The Hunger Games," Ross was best known for his work on "Seabiscuit" and "Pleasantville," as well as for writing the script to "Big." He was instrumental in casting Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games," and the actress said on numerous occassions how much she enjoyed working for him.

As reported earlier on Friday, Lawrence will have time in her schedule to return for "Catching Fire" this fall, since Fox moved its "X-Men" sequel -- which Lawrence will co-star in -- to January.

The Huffington Post has reached out to Ross' representatives, but they have yet to respond with confirmation.

"Catching Fire" is due in theaters on Nov. 22, 2013. If Ross is indeed out, the search for a new director begins yesterday.

UPDATE: According to Deadline.com, Ross has not yet bowed out.

[via Indiewire/The Playlist]

PHOTOS: "Hunger Games" Stars

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  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actors Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth attend the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: (L-R) Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Director Gary Ross and Jennifer Lawrence attend the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • "The Hunger Games" Cast Signing

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends a special signing event to promote their new movie 'The Hunger Games' at Barnes & Noble Union Square on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • "The Hunger Games" Cast Signing

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actor Josh Hutcherson and actress Jennifer Lawrence attend a special signing event to promote their new movie 'The Hunger Games' at Barnes & Noble Union Square on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actor Liam Hemsworth attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actor Stanley Tucci (L) attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Outside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actor Josh Hutcherson attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Outside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actor Liam Hemsworth attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence attend the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson attend the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Jennifer Lawrence attends the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Zoe Kravitz attends the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Outside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Bridget Moynahan attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Inside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: (L-R) Liam Hemsworth, Isabelle Fuhrman, Josh Hutcherson, Director Gary Ross and Jennifer Lawrence attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Outside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Director Gary Ross attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Tony Danza attends the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Outside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actress Abigail Breslin attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - Outside Arrivals

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Josh Hutcherson attends the Cinema Society & Calvin Klein Collection screening of 'The Hunger Games' at SVA Theatre on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Marisol Thomas and Rob Thomas attend the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Alexi Ashe and Seth Meyers attend the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Cuba Gooding Jr attends the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society And Calvin Klein Collection Host A Screening Of "The Hunger Games" - After Party

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Stanley Tucci (C) and guests attend the party following a screening of 'The Hunger Games' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection at The Top of The Standard on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Elizabeth Banks arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    Liam Hemsworth in Dolce & Gabbana

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Amy Paffrath arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Actress Brooke Bundy arrives for the pre

    Actress Brooke Bundy arrives for the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actor Stanley Tucci arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actors Josh Hutcherson (L) and Jennifer Lawrence attend 'The Hunger Games' Los Angeles Premiere on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

  • Actor Cody Simpson arrives for the premi

    Actor Cody Simpson arrives for the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: (L-R) Actors Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth arrive at 'The Hunger Games' Los Angeles premiere held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Actress Garcelle Beauvais arrives for t

    Actress Garcelle Beauvais arrives for the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Odette Annable arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: TV personality Kelly Osborne arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actor Zachary Gordon arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actor Toby Jones arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Isabelle Fuhrman arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Willow Shields arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Author Suzanne Collins arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actor Benjamin Bratt arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Garcelle Beauvais arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actor Kevin McHale arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actor Woody Harrelson arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Producer Ninia Jacobson arrives to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Premiere Of Liongate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Leslie Mann arrives at 'The Hunger Games' Los Angeles premiere held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

  • Actress Kalia Prescott arrives at the pr

    Actress Kalia Prescott arrives at the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TV Personality Kendall Jenner arrives a

    TV Personality Kendall Jenner arrives at the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

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