After making the decision to leave Panem behind this past spring, director Gary Ross could be heading next to Never Never Land. The filmmaker is in talks to direct Peter and the Starcatchers, a Peter Pan prequel based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Disney optioned the book all the way back in 2005 with the intention of turning it into a 3D CG feature, but wound up adapting it into a Tony-winning stage musical first. With fairy tale retellings now the hottest thing in Hollywood, however, the studio’s giving it another shot. More details after the jump.

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UPDATE: A rep for Gary Ross has denied that the filmmaker is pursuing Warner Bros.’ Tarzan adaptation. Original story follows.

Could Edgar Rice BurroughsTarzan be the next classic tale to get several competing adaptations? Not only is a mo-capped 3D version featuring Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga) as the lord of the jungle coming together, but Warner Bros. has not one but two different variations on the story in the works. One is a potential trilogy that Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) has been working on since last year, and now the other one from screenwriter Adam Cozad is moving forward as David Yates, Gary Ross, and Susanna White emerge as contenders for the directing gig. More details after the jump.

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Setting a director to make The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire turned out to be a little more complicated for Lionsgate than was originally expected. While Gary Ross was first thought to be fully set to reprise his directorial duties after making the smash first film, he moved on to other jobs. After casting about for follow-up options, Lionsgate made an offer to I Am Legend, Constantine and Water For Elephants director Francis Lawrence.

Today Lawrence has signed to make Catching Fire. The film will start shooting in the fall, and “Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles.” The release date remains November 22, 2013.

Read the full press release below. Read More »

For a while there, it seemed all but certain that The Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross would return for the sequel, Catching Fire. But that, of course, didn’t pan out, and with Francis Lawrence now firmly positioned in the director’s chair for that film, Ross is weighing a few different options for his next move.

Among other things, he’s just entered talks for Summit’s Houdini, an adaptation of William Kalush and Larry Sloman‘s biography The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. Ironically enough, this project could pit him against his Hunger Games successor Lawrence, who’s attached to Columbia’s unrelated Houdini project. More after the jump.

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For the last couple weeks the biggest question mark in Hollywood has been related to who Lionsgate plans to hire to direct The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Originally Gary Ross was thought to be set for the film, but it turned out that he had other ideas. After some extended last-minute dealmaking attempts, some of which included minor manipulations of the news that he was walking away from the film, Ross was revealed to be out of the picture for good.

So who steps in? A shortlist came out that includes some surprising names: David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Now we can add two more names to the ‘possible’ column: Moneyball director Bennett Miller, and I Am Legend and Constantine director Francis Lawrence. Read More »

Before The Hunger Games was released, I spoke with Gary Ross on numerous occasions and each time he seemed extremely confident he’d be back to direct the sequel, Catching Fire. He’d hand selected the screenwriter, had thoughts about casting and Lionsgate even set a release date. Then his film blew up into an gargantuan success and rumors began swirling Ross wasn’t going to come back. The Playlist then confirmed this. Days later, Deadline wrote otherwise and we all just thought it was public posturing for a bigger check. According to Gary Ross, that was not the case.

Ross has released a statement that explains why he will not be back to direct Catching Fire, finally closing the book on the argument and you can read it after the jump. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam take on the MPAA and wonder about the fate of Gary Ross’s work in the Hunger Games film series. Also, can enthusiasm only take you so far? Or is it the key to unlocking your dreams? Special guest Joseph Kahn joins us to discuss. Kahn’s newest film, Detention, opens in limited release this Friday.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be reviewing Cabin in the Woods next week. /Filmcast live broadcasts won’t be regular the next few months, but follow Dave on Twitter to see when we’ll be broadcasting next!

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You’ll have to put your fantasies of an Alfonso Cuaron- or Kathryn Bigelow-directed The Hunger Games sequel back on the shelf for now. Despite last week’s report that Gary Ross had exited the franchise and would not be directing the second installment, Catching Fire, sources close to the situation are saying that Ross has yet to formally withdraw. In fact, Ross is set to meet with Lionsgate today to discuss his possible role in the film series going forward. More details after the jump.

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This is why we can never make any assumptions about how a deal is going to go down before the ink is set and dried. Even before the massive success of The Hunger Games, most assumed that Gary Ross would return to direct the sequel, Catching Fire. Simon Beaufoy was hired to script the sequel, and said to be working under the supervision of Ross.

In the weeks since the release of The Hunger Games, we’ve heard about negotiations between Ross and Lionsgate, and while there seemed to be some contention over money, the general takeaway was that Ross and the studio would come to terms and he would once again be in the director’s chair for the sequel.

Turns out that might not be the case. Rather, Ross may have been playing his own smart game, letting many think he would be ready to move on to the sequel, but instead using his new cachet from the film’s success to ensure he could do a film he has been developing for a while. In other words, if the report we’ve got today is correct, Catching Fire will have a new director. Read More »