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Ross Could Still Be "Catching Fire"

April 9, 2012

Will “The Hunger Games” helmer Gary Ross return to call action on the next film adapting author Suzanne Collins‘ novel seriesCatching Fire” after all?

It was reported last Friday that Ross had told the suits at Lionsgate that he decided pass on his contract option to do the sequel–now we learn that he never left the blockbuster franchise says THR.

Sources say the filmmaker is concerned about the tight production schedule that would require shooting to begin in August so that star actress Jennifer Lawrence can start work on Fox ‘s in-development as yet Untitled X-Men First Class Sequel in January.

Since Fox’s deal with Lawrence predates her contract for Hunger Games, X-Men is in a priority position. With the script for for Fire from “Slumdog Millionaire” writer Simon Beaufoy not yet finished, that means all preparations for a sequel would have to be done in four months—a tough schedule to meet.

The talks with Ross are described as “delicate“. In addition to his concerns about the schedule, the filmmaker would like a raise from the $3 million (and 5 percent of backend) that he received for the first film, which has passed $450 million in worldwide box office. Ross has several other films in development and could choose to do any of them.

One option for Lionsgate is that it could attempt to “buy” more time for Ross, essentially paying Fox (or horsetrading in other ways) to bump its production schedule to accommodate the Hunger Games. Or Lionsgate could move on and hire another director to do the sequel, as was the case  for “The Twilight film series

Either way, the next week or so should bring about a resolution to the matter–Stay Tuned.

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