Hunger Games Director Gary Ross Explains Why He Didn’t Return For The Sequels


It’s common to see film directors not sticking around to direct all of the movies in the franchise they started out with. After all, director Catherine Hardwicke left Twilight behind after the first movie to film Red Riding Hood. Chris Columbus dropped out after the first two Harry Potter films as he found directing them “exhausting.” So, what’s The Hunger Games‘ Gary Ross’s reasoning? Known for turning black-and-white into color in his directorial debut Pleasantville and his Academy Award-nominated film Seabiscuit, Gary Ross explains why he did not continue directing more Hunger Games movies after the first one.

Gary Ross spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the challenges of filming The Hunger Games films. He explained that he was a writer and a director for the first film which was a lot to take on. Ross expressed no regrets about leaving the dystopian film franchise as he got to make the film Free State of Jones. While he admits that this film may not have been so popular with audiences, he still considers it his favorite project. 

I think what people didn’t realize is that I had two jobs. I wrote and I directed, and you do one of those things before you do the other. There was honestly no time to do both well in the three-and-a half months between movies so I moved on. I got to make Free State of Jones which not many people saw but remains one of my favorite pieces of work so – all good.

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