Despite back and forth reports, Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, has finally stopped playing Games with our hearts: he will not return to direct the upcoming sequel, Catching Fire.
In a statement released by Lionsgate, Ross said “I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. 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 the fixed and tight production schedule.”
Ross denied any problems with Lionsgate, despite rumors that the dispute was over money, saying “contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic.” Maybe “problematic” is code for “not enough money”. But it stands to reason that Ross would leave, since he’s never done a sequel yet.
So, now that Ross has officially backed out, I’m officially going to start hoping for a Pleasantville sequel.[Via Deadline]