“The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross backed out of directing the next film because of the limited time he would receive to shoot the sequel, according to a statement released by Lionsgate.
Ross said the decision took careful time and consideration but “the fixed and tight production schedule” prevented him from signing onto the project again.
“I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life,” the statement continued, according to Deadline. “Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results.”
In another statement released by Lionsgate the company said they were sad to see Ross go and praised his work in the first film. “The Hunger Games” earned a domestic total of 302.8 million dollars as of this weekend and continues to dominate the box office.
Although a new director has yet to be announced, “Catching Fire,” the second film in the franchise, is set to be released in November 2013. May the odds be ever in the new director’s favor, who has big shoes to fill after the success of Ross’s adaptation.