Gary Ross Quits Hunger Games Sequel
UPDATE: It's not yet official - director not reached for comment.
UPDATE: contrary to the earlier reports, it has emerged via the good folks at Deadline that Gary Ross has not officially quit the project, with the director not available for comment at this time.
It had been whispered that talks between The Hunger Games director Gary Ross and Lionsgate were stuttering, but the news is now confirmed: Gary Ross will not be returning for the sequel.
Collider report that Ross has chosen to depart the series, and that this was not purely a financial decision. Ross had been reported as being after a better deal, having delivered an enormous smash which has gathered a good critical reaction to boot. The writer/ director will instead be heading off to develop a different script he has written.
This is pretty bad news; the director had carved out a superb imagining of Panem, and harnessed some seriously talented young actors. We would imagine that Lionsgate will start the hunt for his replacement as soon as they can, and just hope that the new guy can maintain the high standards of the original.
More on this story as it develops. For our review of The Hunger Games, click here