11 April 2012 5:44 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Holy Panem! After much speculation, Deadline.com reports that "Hunger Games" director Gary Ross will officially not be returning for its sequel, "Catching Fire." Ross released a statement explaining that he is unable to return due to scheduling conflicts. Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don't have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule. Just yesterday, Josh Hutcherson, who played district 12 tribute Peeta Mellark (and Katiniss's better half), said that he couldn't imagine another man for the job. “I think Gary's the man," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Gary in my mind is the only one that could ever direct the second one. That's what I'm sticking to.” Ross's statement was »

- Jessie Heyman

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