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Gary Ross stands down from Hunger Games sequel

The Hunger Games

Story by Jack Foley

HUNGER Games director Gary Ross has announced he won’t be directing the sequel, Catching Fire.

The filmmaker said he had decided not to make the next instalment in the trilogy “after difficult but sincere consideration”, citing the tight production schedule for the second film, which is due to be released in November 2013.

He felt it gave him little time to prepare and denied reports that he had fallen out with distributor Lionsgate.

In a statement, Ross said: “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.”

Lionsgate also issued a statement, saying: “We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him.

“He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.”

Ross’ statement concluded with a message to the film’s fans, who have helped The Hunger Games remain on top of the US box office for three weeks and break serveral records.

“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.”

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