It’s like some people have never been invested in a cinematic trilogy before. Did you know that the original Star Wars trilogy was done by three different directors? Toy Story 3 was a different director as the first two, and was just as damn good. The Die Hard movies had had at least three…
I’m gonna politely disagree with this, as a person who can’t stand 9 out of the 10 movies that come out every year. To say Hollywood doesn’t market a product they don’t think anyone would buy, isn’t really the point. Movies come out every week that someone goes out and sees. Doesn’t mean they’re any good. Hollywood screws up more scripts than it gets right, and that’s because they continually have people at the helm that sacrifice quality for mass appeal. Nina Jacobson has said on record she grabbed the HG rights because she was so afraid of Hollywood butchering it. Saying something like that isn’t a comfort for those of us that think this trilogy deserves more.
I would also say that Hunger Games isn’t Die Hard or Toy Story, so it’s disingenuous to use them as a comparison. (It’s not even Star Wars or Harry Potter, but that’s an argument for another day). It’s a complex, layered story written as a unit, and more importantly with hot button political issues that in the wrong hands could completely alter the essence of the story. Ross himself said, “we need to be sensitive due to the subject matter”. He recognized that it would not be right to make a glossy movie out of this, he saw that 3D would not be appropriate. He grounded the series into something that felt very real and close to our world, and therefore unsettling. He did not make a purely entertaining experience. He made something that would shake you up and make you think. Just like the books. It’s important to understand, he didn’t HAVE to do that. But he did. And critics were positively glowing because of it.
If it’s true Ross is out, it’s not because he walked, it’s because Lionsgate let him. You see sequels with different directors all the time because directors aren’t typically willing to be tied down to more than one part of a series. From Ross’s interviews, he was not only very willing but prepared to do so (multiple interviews with the cast showed they assumed he’d be back too). Some reports have said he had tense negotiations with the studio in the past. I’d be willing to bet he had to fight tooth and nail to get the movie done the way he wanted it. He was very adamant about gloss being inappropriate, and for mass appeal, studios are convinced that gloss is necessary. Action, romance, fantasy, the spectacle with the big bombastic music, all take precidence over character and social commentary. Holding a viewer’s hand is necessary. Dumbing it down is necessary. Making you think is dead last on the list. It’s not hard to see they might have been unwilling to deal with Ross’s principles on the matter again (who thinks Lionsgate isn’t salivating about the idea of making one of these sequels in 3D to charge the extra inflated admittance?).
Gary Ross sought out to do this movie because he was personally pulled in by the books and believed strongly in the message of the story. He doesn’t just direct to direct (after 35 years in HW, with HG he has three director credits on the books, he’s a screenplay writer first and foremost, another thing you don’t see with directors often and it makes a difference). But the trilogy is now connected to one of the biggest opening weekends ever. And every director that has the time and is looking for a career boost is gonna jump at the chance to direct this second one. Whether they care about the material or not.
And that’s not even touching the set atmosphere and rapport he built with the actors to get the performances he did out of them. If the news is true, I’m sure we’re not the only ones upset.
Fans protesting his removal (again, if it is true), are doing so because it doesn’t seem RIGHT. We can never know exactly what went on, but it from the air of the reports coupled with interviews, it sounds like someone pulled the carpet out from under Ross at last minute. This shit happens all the time in Hollywood, it’s typical studio stunt pulled on artists, and they’re expected to just smile and move on. But as fans we recognize it as unfair and disrespectful to the guy who just delivered this great film to us. And we know our numbers are mighty. So, let fans make a ruckus for a while and see if it does anything. It’s worth a shot. In the least, it’s allows fans a platform to show their appreciation for his work.
So, you know, if y’all haven’t seen it yet, add your message of love to GARYROSSISBOSS.com! *sticks on Team Gary hat* *waves pom poms*