Hey folks, Harry here... Now that Gary Ross has completely bowed out of the sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE - the wanton speculation may begin. Personally I hope they do something great like hire Cameron Crowe - who has always been fairly remarkable with a young cast and who will always keep the emotional balance that I think was slightly askew. Of course, I haven't read the second book yet. I think I might start it at REHAB this week. Just so my wife won't kill me for not being able to speak to me about what happens in it.
This just got sent out to everywhere - they even included a very classy statement from Gary Ross (inserted below), whom personally I'm glad is leaving the franchise. One, I didn't feel it was quite a perfect match, thought it is impossible to argue with the box office phenomenon that it has spurred. What I'm happiest about is that Gary know has a mega-success that he personally launched.
So, Gary - you only ever get a shot in the career like this a few times. Use it properly. Make WALLY & PEPPER!!! Do it! You've wanted to for the better part of decade and a half... Let's see that made. It would blow people away.
Now - here's Gary's statement:
GARY ROSS STATEMENT:
Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, 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.
I loved making The Hunger Games - it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.
I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; 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.
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.