Earlier today we reported that the upcoming sequel to X-Men: First Class had been pushed back to next January in order to accommodate star Jennifer Lawrence’s obligations to Lionsgate’s Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. In that report we mentioned that Lionsgate had not yet come to terms with Hunger Games director Gary Ross to direct the sequel. And now we know why.
The Playlist is reporting that Ross has passed on returning for a second installment of the teen-lit, big screen adaption in favor of working on a project he has been developing for the past couple of years.
Neither Lionsgate nor Ross’s reps have issued any official statements, but it appears that Ross tendered his resignation from the series earlier this week. This follows weeks of speculation that while the studio and the director were in negotiations for a second film there was some disagreement over what his paycheck should be.
While there is no confirmation as to what this new project will be, The Playlist reports that “it will be something he has written that (ironically) will earn him a better payday that he would’ve received on Catching Fire.”
Personally, I think this is rather good news for the franchise, as I don’t think Ross handled the film’s action sequences all that well. Often franchises like this are not so much about a director’s personal vision versus the producers ensuring fidelity to the source material in order to keep fans coming back, but I hope that the studio will be searching out someone who can bring
Meanwhile, Lionsgate continues work on Catching Fire with Simon Beaufoy working on adapting the Suzanne Collins novel. The film is set for a November 22, 2013 release.