Hunger Games Director Gary Ross May Not Return for Catching Fire

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) in "The Hunger Games." Credit: Murray Close

Writer and director Gary Ross may be quitting the Games.

According to a report by the Playlist, Ross, 55, has officially said sayonara to the Hunger Games franchise, and will not return to direct the film's second installment, Catching Fire.

Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter reported separately that Ross was still in negotiations with the film's studio, Lionsgate, though the back and forth has been "tough."

THR adds that Ross was paid "a relatively low" $3 million to write and direct The Hunger Games, though he'll receive 5 percent of backend profits--not a paltry sum, considering the flick has already earned almost $260 million domestically.

Since its March 23 opening, The Hunger Games--which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth--has broken box office records. The dark, dystopian flick based on the Suzanne Collins novel of the same name earned almost $20 million during its midnight opening alone, and raked in $155 million its first weekend, making it the third-biggest opening weekend of all time.