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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Earlier this week, director Gary Ross dropped out of the next sequel in “The Hunger Games” franchise.

And, now the real reason was revealed.

Apparently, actress Jennifer Lawrence was committed to two upcoming sequel projects for production at the end of this year and early next year. The two projects were Twentieth Century Fox’s “X-Men: First Class” sequel and Lionsgate’s “Catching Fire” sequel movie in “The Hunger Games” franchise.

“As a writer and 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,” he told The Hollywood Reporter this week.

Although Ross did mention it directly, Twentieth Century Fox had a strict production start date for January 2013. So Lionsgate’s bond company had a firm date to complete filming by December 20 with an August production start date before Lawrence must report to Fox’s sequel project.

Lawrence signed on to Fox’s X-Men project predates her contract on “The Hunger Games.”

And, Ross didn’t want to be rushed.

So, it’ll look like it’s happy hunting for a new director for Lionsgate.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.