Director Gary Ross says no to `Catching Fire'

Director Gary Ross says no to `Catching Fire'

Credit: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Opening Night Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium on March 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 23 at 3:23 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gary Ross says he won't direct "Catching Fire," the second installment in Lionsgate's blockbuster "The Hunger Games" franchise.

In a statement Tuesday, Ross says "after difficult but sincere consideration," he decided not to direct the film. He blames limited time to write and prep the film because of the fixed, tight production schedule.

Ross says making "The Hunger Games" was the happiest experience of his professional life. He also denies reports that negotiations with Lionsgate had been problematic.

Lionsgate officials say in response that they're "very sorry" Ross has chosen not to direct "Catching Fire" but they look forward to working with him on future projects.

"Catching Fire" is the second installment in the franchise based on Suzanne Collins' book series. It's scheduled for release in November 2013.

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