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The Hunger Games Movie Guide

Could 'Hunger Games' Sequel 'Catching Fire' End Up With a New Director?

By: Derrick Deane on April 4, 2012 at 3:00PM Comments (203)

It has taken less than two weeks for The Hunger Games to cross the $250 million mark domestically and $373 million worldwide. As we've seen in the past, when a franchise becomes profitable and the studio starts to make money, everyone else wants in on the action. While we haven't heard a peep from the stars of The Hunger Games, director Gary Ross, who co-wrote the first film, never officially signed for a sequel after what is described as a "terrible experience" negotiating the first film. Ultimately, he came away with a $3 million payday for the film along with a 5% take of the back-end.

Now with the attention turning towards Catching Fire, the second book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy, Ross is looking for a major pay raise. He points out the film's excellent reviews means the franchise will have "legs" when it hits theaters (film biz speak to say it won't hit #1 on opening weekend and then fade away to obscurity).

Certainly Lionsgate can bring on another director to replace Ross, but as we've seen in the past, this is a dangerous and often detrimental game to play. Marvel and Jon Favreau went their separate ways between the first two Iron Man movies and Twilight shuffled in different directors for each of their films, to avoid boosting salaries and production costs.

Ross beat out a handful of other directors for the Hunger Games gig including Sam Mendes, David Slade, Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Andrew Adamson (the first Chronicles of Narnia) to name a few. With The Hunger Games overwhelming global success, Lionsgate could easily pluck one of these directors to helm Catching Fire. The question is, will it be for the better?

What do you think? Should Lionsgate give Ross a pay raise to return as director for Catching Fire? Or are you in favor of the studio bringing in a new director to helm what should be another massive theatrical blockbuster hit?

Comments (203)Leave a Comment

  • Apr 6th 2012 8:15AM

    carliejst  said...

    I loved this movie and would like to keep the same director so the tone of the movies stay the same. He got as close to the books as possible and would like that attention to detail to keep going throughout the movies. The only thing I would like to see is less camera shake it makes me motion sick.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:15AM

     said...

    I too thought it was way too shakey... I had to look away so much & I felt the film was out of focus. I felt he did a good job keeping it pg 13 & I wouldn't have minded the hand held effect for just the fight scenes, but so much of the movie was that way. Ruined it for me.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:15AM

    OctaviaD  said...

    I thought the movie was great....if I hadn't read the book first. I don't know how much the writer & director collaborated but serious key things were left out that will have to be addressed somehow in the 2nd & 3rd movie. The camera shots were ok with me but I hated that everything moved so fast. They seemed like they were rushing the movie a bit. If you haven't read the 2nd book I wouldn't til after the movie comes out just in case they do it again. Even still I think the director did a pretty decent job so I wouldn't care if he stayed or was let go. Oh & fyi the 1st Twilight wasn't nearly as good as the other 3. They did right replacing that guy.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 5:18PM

    silver_sunshine  said...

    Okay, were you aware that Suzanne Collins herself helped screen-write the movie! I thought they did a great job between Gary Ross, Billy Ray and herself in the adaption that was brought to the big screen! Twilight author Stephanie Meyer's should have taken a page from Miss Collins' book and done the same. Maybe then the integrity of Twilight might have been at least a little redeemable, but alas, she did not, and there is no redemption for that franchise save the amazing Cash Cow that it is and all of the screaming FANGIRLS!

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:08AM

    Watkins2k9  said...

    I thought that the movie stayed fairly true to the book, but I agree about the camera shots. Too Shaky. My husband says I'm too picky because of my experience in the TV world but there was too much blurring going on and too much shaking. Plus the power of the book didn't seem to be conveyed into the movie as well as I had hoped. Hopefully the next one will be easier to watch and will pack more of a punch.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 9:08AM

    RBurns17  said...

    The "shaky" camera movements were a legitimate filming style. What he did was use a large number of close-ups, especially during actions shots to help convey Katniss' point of view of the battle. It's a more intimate and realistic way to shoot action. Not everyone likes it, but it was done that way on purpose. Wide, stagnant shots wouldn't accurately convey to the viewer the feeling of being thrust into a life or death game of tag.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:03AM

    RBurns17  said...

    Wtf are you talking about? Jon Favreau directed both Iron Man movies.....and as far as I know he's producing the 3rd and handpicking a replacement director so he can direct Magic Kingdom.....

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  • Apr 6th 2012 9:03AM

     said...

    Yeah the woman that directed Twilight really dropped the ball on that one. In the book Bella kept saying that Forks was too green but in the movie everything was grey. And don't get me started on the whole "say it out loud" fiasco. Edward's reveal happened in the meadow not the forest, and it was a very calm and nice exchange unlike how it was depicted in the movie where poor Bella looked about ready to have a freaking heart attack.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:02AM

    elph  said...

    I think we've got an embarrassment of riches here. On the one hand, there's the original director, who also cowrote the script and has proven he can handle the material. On the other, a group of directors who are also awesome in their own rights showing interest in this series. I suspect Catching Fire is going to be a hit regardless of which choice they make. Personally I would rather see them hold off on a new director until Mockingjay, which truly has a different feel than the first two novels. But I'll watch Catching Fire regardless.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:02AM

     said...

    Personally I think this director captured the feeling of the book quite well. I was really happy with it.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:59AM

     said...

    WHAT???? They haven't started making the second movie!!!!!

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  • Apr 6th 2012 10:19AM

    LvTwilight16  said...

    Rumor has it that it will not make it to the screen until Nov 2013

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  • Apr 6th 2012 5:10PM

    silver_sunshine  said...

    Confirmed! Saw it on Yahoo movies! If you go to imdb.com Jennifer Lawrence is currently filming a move right now, and she is the person that they have to wait for. Liam Hemsworth also have three movies in pre-production and will need to either film those first and then film Catching or film in the middle. Josh Hutcherson currently has a clean slate, but who knows how long that will last taking into consideration that he is a talented actor!

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:47AM

    cvwspin  said...

    David Yates should direct the rest of the series...

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:46AM

    ricanphatbeauty  said...

    I agree bring somebody who can detail the book more. I read the book and the movie was a little disappointing. I was expecting much more.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:46AM

    Noralovesmovies  said...

    My girls and I loved the movie! I have mixed feelings about changing directors at this point. This one director had a vision that earned top box office ratings....

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:42AM

    Nana_Linda  said...

    Go for a new director. The story was very good but as most others say, and I agree that the filming leaves quite a lot to be desired. I know he was trying to be original, but when the motion makes your audience ill it isn't a good thing.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:36AM

    garciastudios  said...

    #Hunger Games! PLEASE bring in a new director! The directing was the worst part of the movie for me. That's my opinion. I just didn't like his overall vision or the way many scenes where shot. It could have been so much better! Please bring in a new director for part 2! And, yes, I've read all 3 books.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:24AM

     said...

    They need to leave the same director in place. It was directed well and the sequel needs the same momentum.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:12AM

    Calla_Lily319  said...

    Perhaps he will switch out of the hand-held since the tone/settings of CF are different? Just having GR doesn't mean it has to stay the same. Keep in mind - both the critics and the audience loved what Gary did. I was very nit picky because I'm a superfan of the book, but what I wanted kept in without removing any of what was there could have hended up an hour longer. Switching directors for HP seemed to work towards the end, but (and I hate to do this) Twi just got worse and worse.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:12AM

    LvTwilight16  said...

    I also think that a director change would be a good thing. If you look at the Twilight series the films kept getting better. I believe it was the directors and the increased input from the Author themselves. I like Hunger Games but agree with all the comments about the filming. I also feel main parts of the book were forgotten. The last scene w/ the mutant dogs. Book readers know what I mean. It is a major part of the next book. Bill Condon would be a great choice. The next two books are more intense. He is good with that stuff.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:15AM

    Calla_Lily319  said...

    No!! BD 1 got the lowest RT rating of all the Twi movies. No!!!!!! And the Twi movies were all critical bombs 28& on RT? )- I'd rather have a good movie than a major BO any day.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:09AM

     said...

    In my opinion the director is in charge of the way the story is told. The camera work was terrible, and the storyline was edited to fit a PG-13 audience. The producers got what they wanted, exposure to a wider based audience. I would make a move toward a director with more action based experience to match the pace and intensity of the books. The Harry Potter series started out slow with the first director, and got better with the third movie and new direction. This story has such a strong fan base that it would be foolish not to keep the movie closer to how the books read. Take a lesson from the Lord of the Rings!

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  • Apr 6th 2012 8:56AM

     said...

    I so agree with you here. I think out of all the Twilight movies Breaking Dawn Part 1 was by far the best. And I don't care what RT or any of the others like that think. Bill Condon did a wonderful job stepping in to a franchise that was already well established, making it his own while staying true to the material, and am more than super excited to see what he has in store for the second part. The films in my opinion do get better from first to last.

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  • Apr 6th 2012 7:06AM

     said...

    I dont think they should get a new director because looked what happened with Twilight; Edward got whiter and his eyes became so unreal. That is why I loved the first twilight because he looked real not sooooo ghost-like with eyes that anyone in their right mind could see are fake. Stick with the first director.

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