http://movieweb.com/gary-ross-will-not-direct-the-hunger-games-sequel-catching-fire/Yesterday, it was reported that Gary Ross had dropped out of directing Catching Fire, the sequel to the extremely popular The Hunger Games. First, in part due to the fact that Lionsgate wasn't going to give him the raise he asked for, and second, because he just isn't interested in the material.
Anyone who read about The Hunger Games leading up to it's release may have been surprised to hear this news, as in interviews, Gary Ross has expressed his excitement about returning so quickly for a follow-up, especially in working once again with Jennifer Lawrence, whom he formed a unique bond with on set.
According to Deadline, reports of Gary Ross dropping out of the sequel are premature. The director has not formally or officially withdrawn from participating in Catching Fire, and has been on vacation with his family, unable to speak for himself in the press.
Gary Ross has spent an immense amount of time setting up the sequel, so its unlikely that he will leave the project. Expect to hear an official statement in the coming week that he is still on board.
And in terms of 20th Century Fox backing down so that Catching Fire could go into production before X-Men: First Class Sequel, Deadline confirms that Fox had the option to use Jennifer Lawrence first, but they do not have a script for the X-Men sequel finished. Catching Fire does have a script in place, and are ready to go. There is no bad blood between the studios.