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You’d think after he helmed a film that not only received mostly positive reviews, but has also earned $363 million so far, Lionsgate would be happy to sign The Hunger Games director Gary Ross for the sequel. Alas, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that’s not the case. The director of such films as Pleasantville and Seabiscuit reportedly took a pay cut to write and direct the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel, but didn’t make a deal yet for the sequel, titled Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Ross wants more money to work on the second film, but it’s far from a sure thing. As the trade paper points out, this feels a lot like what happened after Catherine Hardwicke directed the wildly successful Twilight for Summit and then got replaced for the sequel.
A script for the sequel has already been written by Slumdog Millionaire‘s Simon Beaufoy. Originally, Ross was going to take his own pass at it, but that has yet to happen because no deal has been settled on. This will not be a make or break moment for Ross, though. Part of the deal he made for the first film included a 5 percent share of the backend, which means he’ll be making a good deal of coin off of the franchise even if he’s only involved in the first installment.