Director Gary Ross won’t return for CATCHING FIRE

Say WHAAAA? THE HUNGER GAMES director Gary Ross has just announced that he won’t be returning to the franchise to direct the movie's sequel, CATCHING FIRE.

A statement from Ross read, "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."

The acclaimed director has also done past films like PLEASANTVILLE and SEABISCUIT, and has written scripts like BIG, LASSIE and, of course, THE HUNGER GAMES.

Considering how well he captured the book in THE HUNGER GAMES, we’re a little worried and nervous about who will now be in charge of CATCHING FIRE… especially since Ross helped write it. But, the movie must go on! Lionsgate has previously announced that the film will be released in November 2013, so that doesn’t give the new director much time to get at it.

In the meantime, here’s our suggested list of directors who we think could handle it:
- Guillermo del Toro
- Darren Aronofsky
- Chris Columbus
- Wolfgang Petersen
- Brad Silberling
- Gore Verbinski
- Anyone but Michael Bay