April 10, 2012 2:09pm PT by Todd Gilchrist
'Hunger Games' Star Josh Hutcherson on Who Should Direct Sequel 'Catching Fire'
Prior to the release of The Hunger Games, Josh Hutcherson’s future as Peeta Mellark was assured; he signed a contract to appear in all of the films. But director Gary Ross made no such commitment, and last week THR reported that contract negotiations have yet to be finalized before he can return to the franchise, leaving the director’s seat open for Catching Fire. At the Los Angeles press day for Detention on Tuesday, Hutcherson discussed Ross’ uncertain future with the blockbuster series, and joked about the possibility of replacing him with Joseph Kahn, his director on the upcoming teen horror movie.
When asked who should take over directing duties for Catching Fire, Hutcherson answered diplomatically: “I think Gary’s the man. Gary is in my mind is the only one that could ever direct the second one. That’s what I’m sticking to.”
Kahn suggested that his current film, which focuses on a high school besieged by an ax-wielding serial killer, has more similarities to The Hunger Games than one might expect. “That’s a very specific case of a very specific property that I think would be right up my alley: kids killing kids,” Kahn said. “It’s set in the future with science fiction and special effects and really interesting genre tropes. Yeah, sure, that’s right up my alley.”
While recognizing that Kahn might not be on the studio's shortlist of filmmakers eligible to take on Catching Fire, Hutcherson observed that his Detention director's take on the material would be markedly different than Ross’s. “I think it would be a very different movie than the first movie if Joseph directed the second Hunger Games,” he said. “It would be crazy.”