Hunger Games: Catching Fire being rushed through?
It looks bad for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire the sequel to the successful The Hunger Games, not because they are losing Gary Ross the co-writer and director from the production but that they seem to be racing forward with it so quickly they can't keep Ross in the production.
The rumour has been around for a few days that Ross was about to leave the production of the sequel and it's just been confirmed today, but the reason cited is a rather telling one and one that shows the studio executives and the project plan is still in charge of film production.
"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."
That was in his official statement which came in its entirety through The Hollywood Reporter, and to me that's rather damning.
Mind you I have to say that the rest of the statement reads very positively for the relationship with Lionsgate and the production of the first film, it also clearly states that there were no problems in the negotiations for the film and that is also something echoed by the Lionsgate response that clearly states they want to work with him again.
Yet he has clearly said that the production schedule is too tight to allow him to develop, write and direct the sequel, and for someone who has done just that and so well with the first film you would think Lionsgate would be rethinking that schedule that demands a film released in August.
They aren't though, and they're even letting the writer/director leave the production and will head off looking for another talent to take the franchise forward, and that surely means a bigger impact on their schedule, that project plan won't have factored in interviews, schedule checks and negotiations with another writer/director.
Mind you it might not be a bad thing for the production, it might force Lionsgate to just take a second to breathe and allow the second film to be developed properly, and it didn't really harm the Twilight series to have a new person at the helm did it?
Still, August isn't far away.