Wait! Gary Ross May Still Be 'Catching Fire'

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Lionsgate

Yesterday, we reported that director Gary Ross was officially and definitively off the 'Hunger Games' sequel, 'Catching Fire.' Now, it's being reported that he's not out of the running quite yet. Now we can stop playing the "who will direct 'Catching Fire'?" game and go back to the "will Gary Ross return to Panem?" game.

The news comes courtesy of Deadline and should be taken with a fistful of salt. In fact, make sure you bring a great, heaping serving of salt every time a breaking story cites something to the effect of "multiple anonymous sources." Still, it wouldn't be surprising if yesterday's news was all part of a negotiation tactic by Ross and his people to get Lionsgate squirming. The public (the internet particularly) has become the arena within Hollywood deals are made these days.

Although the Deadline article seems confident that Ross will ultimately return after he's ensured himself a higher paycheck, it certainly doesn't feel like a sure thing. Warner Bros. had no qualms with constantly shifting directors on the 'Harry Potter' series and Summit went through filmmakers like a movie blogger at a free seafood buffet with a time limit to ensure that the 'Twilight' series remained on its yearly schedule. Big film franchises like this have an established fanbase who will flock to the latest entry on opening day no matter what and no matter whose name is listed first in the credits. Sure, ousting Ross may cause a brief fan outcry, but Lionsgate knows they'll ultimately be fine without him. Well, from a financial standpoint, at least. Have you seen the numbers 'The Hunger Games' is doing?!

Tread carefully, Mr. Ross. Tread carefully.

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