With 'The Hunger Games' Director Gary Ross Out, We Speculate On Who Should Direct 'Catching Fire' Now
Holy Hunger Games, Katniss! It appears Gary Ross’ name will not be pulled out of the lottery at the next Reaping. The director has passed on the opportunity to direct Catching Fire, forcing Lionsgate to head back to the drawing board on its lucrative new franchise.
News broke early Friday morning on The Playlist, with the site claiming Ross didn’t have “the burning desire” to continue on with Suzanne Collins’ story. The first book in the series reportedly was his favorite, and he preferred to move on to a fresh, original story (one he actually penned) as his next directorial effort.
Ross’ decision set the Internet on fire (no pun intended), as movie sites far and wide speculated on whom Lionsgate should tap to handle Catching Fire directing duties. Some intriguing names surfaced on various Web pages, and almost all of them seemed credible (to a certain extent).
A poll posted on CinemaBlend listed names like Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns), Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). Currently, Cuaron is the director of choice for that site’s readers.
Mike Sampson, formerly of JoBlo and the current editor of ScreenCrush, Tweeted, “Not that I'd want him to accept, but if Lionsgate were smart, they'd offer Joe Cornish (of Attack the Block) the 'Catching Fire' gig immediately.”
Our very own Erik Davis suggested, “I think J.J. Abrams should direct Catching Fire and then not tell us about it until it hits DVD.”
And the MTV News crew went out on a limb to suggest such names as Steven Soderbergh, Kathryn Bigelow, David Yates (the Harry Potter series) and Debra Granik, who worked with Jennifer Lawrence on Winter’s Bone.
Any of these suggestions could work, and Lionsgate might settle on one of these various options. This seems to be the case for major franchises, though, from Twilight to Harry Potter. Instead of staying with one filmmaker, the series shifts from voice to voice.
So tell us, Hunger Games fans. If you can’t have Ross back at the helm, who would you like to see directing Catching Fire? And does it really matter, or is the material so strong that it will thrive no matter who the studio hires to deliver the sequel? Either way, they better move quick. Production is supposed to start in the fall, with the movie reaching theaters Thanksgiving 2013.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.