Apparently high-grossing box office hits aren’t enough to keep anyone around anymore. Such is possibly the case for The Hunger Games director Gary Ross, who is currently negotiating a deal for the next installment of The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire. According to THR, Ross is in negotiations with Lionsgate to sign on to direct the second installment; however, there are a few things that are standing in the way.
According to sources, the negotiations the first time around were nasty, due to the fact that Lionsgate was reluctant to fork up the cash to the seasoned director, something that they were apparently unaccustomed to. It has been reported that Ross is looking for a hefty raise after the success of the first installment, as he only took home a meager $3 million for the $363 million (and counting) hit.
Ross’ argument stands that his film was better received than any movie in the Twilight saga; however, with other factors at play, such as the fact that The Hunger Games appeals to a wider audience base, this argument may not hold up in negotiations.
Honestly, I feel as though Lionsgate skimped on their salaries for what they obviously expected to be a huge success. While I understand that nothing in this business is surety – seriously. The moment the movie was announced, every fan marked the date of the release on their calendar. For example, it was reported that star Jennifer Lawrence only received $500,000 for her lead role as Katniss. I guess I’m not really familiar with the going rate for the lead in a movie series; however, that seemed a bit low in my mind.
In my opinion, salaries aside, signing on Ross isn’t going to make or break the series’ success. If a competent director steps in to finish the series, I can’t say it’s something I will boo-hoo. In the case of the Twilight series, as well as Harry Potter, a change in directorship didn’t hurt their successes, and I feel such is similar in this case. Additionally, a fresh take could be good for the series, especially for those who felt let down by the first installment.
What do you think? Is Ross’ direction necessary for the franchise to continue? Will negotiations be successful (in that he signs on) or will Lionsgate go another route? With the rush that Lionsgate is under to start filming to make their November 2013 release deadline, I can only assume we will know sooner rather than later.