The story that started with The Hunger Games will continue in a second installment called Catching Fire, but Gary Ross will not be handling directing duties.
Playlist at Indiewire has reported that the director of the recent hit is now officially out of the director’s seat for the sequel.
He issued the following 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.
Personally I think this might be a good thing. While Ross handled the dramatic scenes in The Hunger Games competently, he did not do the action all that well, resorting to shaky cam. Even scenes that were mere fistfights and wouldn’t have had any blood shed were done in this manner.
My recommendation for the job? Andrew Davis.
An action film veteran who’s worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal, he pulled off a huge commercial and critical hit with The Fugitive. It won Tommy Lee Jones his Oscar and was nominated for several more, including Best Picture. He has also proven himself with young adult novel material having directedHoles. If he can recapture the magic, this could really be a great film.
Another personal favorite of mine is Edward Zwick. The director of, among others,Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Siege, Blood Diamond, and Defiance has proven to be in expert in action movies with political overtones.
Presumably, all the actors who had their characters survive will return.
Despite this setback, Catching Fire is on track to begin shooting this fall and be released in theaters on November 22, 2013.