‘The Hunger Games’ director Gary Ross explains franchise departure

Ross says time constraints meant he could not guarantee the quality of 'Catching Fire'

The Hunger Games director Gary Ross has explained why he decided not to return for the sequel, Catching Fire.

Ross gained critical acclaim as well as blockbuster commercial success for the dystopian action movie. But now he has announced that he will not be helming the adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ second book. He said in a statement: “Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire.”

Ross said that the time constraints involving in making such a regular sequence of movies was behind his decision, since he would not be able to guarantee quality. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.”

Reassuring fans, he added: “I want to say thank you for your support, your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Lionsgate released their own statement, saying: “We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.”