It probably goes without saying that when the director of a $470 million movie decides to pass on the opportunity to helm the sequel, that job suddenly becomes the hottest gig in Hollywood. Despite some initial confusion about his status, Gary Ross did indeed confirm last week that he will not be returning for Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Contrary to many reports, he says it was not money that forced him to turn it down, it was the lack of prep time. Now Lionsgate is looking for someone to take his place, and surprisingly, they don’t appear to be going after cheap no-name talent. Their wish list for Catching Fire reportedly includes a trio of big name directors… but will any of them be interested in taking over a blockbuster franchise?
According to the L.A. Times, Lionsgate has a list of seven or eight names that they are currently considering to take over the franchise. While they don’t list all of the candidates, they do mention that David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu are among them. They also specify that none of the directors being considered are women. Hmm.
The reason why they are pursuing more respected filmmakers as opposed to jobbers is because they need to be approved by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, who is apparently “much more interested in quality filmmaking than box-office prowess.” David Cronenberg seems like a long shot to me, but Cuaron arguably turned in the best installment in the Harry Potter franchise, and Inarritu previously worked with producer Jon Kilik on Babel. What do you think, can you see any of these guys directing The Hunger Games sequel? Would it make you more likely to watch the movie?