The Kidd here...
It had long been assumed that Gary Ross would be back to see THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy through to its next chapter CATCHING FIRE. With Lionsgate already eyeing a November 2013 release date and no search for a different director ever taking place, it would seem like an easy transition for Ross to move right along to Simon Beaufoy's script and expand upon the world of Katniss Everdeen. The odds would seem to be ever in Ross' favor, but perhaps it's the money that's not.
There seems to be a contentious negotiation taking place between Ross and Lionsgate over the director's payday for CATCHING FIRE. The Hollywood Reporter reports that, while Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are contracted for Suzanne Collins' entire trilogy, Ross was only locked up for the first film. He took less than usual in order to direct THE HUNGER GAMES, but now he's looking to make more than his fair share after the first film made some serious bank for the studio. It's up to Lionsgate as to whether or not they want to ante up in order to keep him, or are willing to take their chances that he's not the primary reason for the film doing so well by going with another filmmaker, perhaps someone cheaper.
Ross may be overplaying his hand here a bit, because, if the POTTER films, THE TWILIGHT SAGA or the Marvel movies have showed us, it's that there's not a premium placed on the directors... all of them can be replaced. The audience is going to turn out regardless, and, yes, the goal is to make a quality film, but it is a business, and, if someone can be found for less money to do "as good" of a job, then that's the way it's going to be.
"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"
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