‘The Hunger Games’ director says no to sequel

Gary Ross has pulled out of directing 'Catching Fire'

The Hunger Games director, Gary Ross, has pulled out of directing the film franchise’s sequel, according to reports.

The film-maker was praised for his directorial skills on the critically acclaimed and commercially successful first film, which became the third-highest opening box office debut in history.

But, according to The Playlist, Ross would prefer to focus on his new, self-penned film project than return to direct the second film in the series, Catching Fire. The film, which is due out in November 2013, is rumoured to have a draft screenplay written by Slumdog Millionaire script writer Simon Beaufoy.

Meanwhile, the town used to film key scenes in the smash-hit movie has gone on sale. The abandoned Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina has been put on the market for $1.4 million (£883,336). The town was used as District 12 in the film, the place where Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) lives.

The mill closed down in the 1960s, while the last resident of the village moved out in 1987, reports The Guardian. Town owner Wade Shepherd told Associated Press: “I’m getting too many visitors. Day and night, they’re driving through, taking pictures, getting out and walking. I’m just bombarded with people.”

The Hunger Games remains at the top spot in the US box office for a second week in a row. The Dystopian blockbuster took in $61 million to retain the Number One spot. This adds to the $155 million the film, based on the novels by Suzanne Collins, earned in its opening weekend – making history as the third biggest selling movie debut of all time. The Hunger Games is also currently sitting at Number One in the UK box office chart.