Given the insane financial and critical success of The Hunger Games, you would think Lionsgate would be chomping at the bit to keep the Gold Bricks and Hookers Train a-movin’ with Gary Ross at the writing and directing wheel for the sequel, Catching Fire. Do trains have steering wheels? Probably not. That’s a crap metaphor. Forget I said it. Anyway, Lionsgate is reportedly giving Ross a hard time in negotiations, as Ross is demanding more than his previous salary of $3 million (a small sum for directing and writing duties on a tentpole picture) and five percent of the backend. That last part, admittedly, will eventually be a sizable payout. The rationale from Ross is simple: Hunger Games has been received better, critically speaking, than any of the Twlight films to date and even managed to shatter some financial records in the process, something the Twilight movies only have one more chance to do with Breaking Dawn Pt. 2. I’d also guess that Lionsgate is pushing Ross to film in 3D, which he famously refused for Hunger Games, deeming 3D, “making spectacle out of something that I don’t think is really appropriate.” Lionsgate relented, but after the ticket sales Hunger Games is seeing right now, you know they want to pad that out with some 3D sales for the sequel.
Considering, however, that the same people that ran Summit now run Lionsgate’s film division, and they famously ousted Catherine Hardwicke from the Twilight series even after the wildly-successful first film, the franchise is very much up in the air, and if the negotiations aren’t resolved soon, Catching Fire‘s fall 2013 release date could very much be in jeopardy, or at the least severely hampered by a rushed production.[Via THR]