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Speaking at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend, Josh Hutcherson offered additional behind-the-scenes details about his talk with Hunger Games director Gary Ross after he decided to leave the franchise.

From Entertainment Weekly:

“I called him and I was like ‘Gary what’s up? What’s happening? Tell me it’s not the truth,” said Hutcherson. “I’ve never heard someone sound more dejected on the phone than he was. He was so sad he can’t be doing it.”

Though Hutcherson said he was “sad about Gary not being there,” he explained he’s eager to start shooting Catching Fire and looks forward to working with new director Francis Lawrence, whom he referred to as “extremely talented.”

“I think we’re going to make a good movie nevertheless and I’m excited to see what Francis brings to the table,” said Hutcherson.

We’re sad to hear Ross felt so “dejected” – it must’ve been a rough phone call.

Lionsgate has not yet officially announced a deal with Francis Lawrence, but they’re reportedly close.

  • 7Starrchasers

    this breaks my heart. I’m guessing he really didn’t want to leave. I’m so glad he stuck to his work ethic. So much respect for him!

  • writeworld

    Can we just take a moment for how perfect Josh Hutcherson is? What a sweetheart.

    • belac889

       No ;)

  • DramaCutie18

    I was really sad when Gary Ross left, but I think that if Josh is saying that he is exctied to work with Francis Lawrence then we don’t need to worry too much. Also I have so much respect for him knowing what is limits were and that he would not have been able to make the best possible movie under the circumstances that he was put under. I still have hopes for this movie, and will see it reguadless of the director. But a sense of trust has been lost, because we knew that Gary was going to do a faithful adaptation. Hopefully Mr. Lawrence will do the same.

  • sarahd15

    I’m excited for a new director…I honestly wasn’t too happy about certain filming decisions Gary Ross made. I couldn’t stand the constant choppiness of the movie, and the camera shaking so much.

    • Kristenzayon

      I agree. I wanted the camera to sit still and focus on people’s expressions more. I am always more into the human angle than the action.

  • hpatdh33

    i’m really sad he won’t be involved in the next one.  I loved what he did for the first!

  • Andrew

    I was really sad about it for the first couple of days but am excited to see what Lawrence does.  I love Ross but he wasn’t perfect; he and Lawrence have about equal experience in filmmaking so I’m not too worried.

  • http://twitter.com/aadnama Amanda Douglas

    As sad as I am about Gary leaving, I’m quite excited to see what Francis brings to the table.

  • Disqus

    Can he please shut up about Gary? Good lord..

    • Peeta Mellark

      can you please leave?

  • http://twitter.com/NatashaPeartree Natasha Pereira

    oh how sad! i still dont understand how gary leaving helped the timing!

  • Luna

    Francis is a great director so Catching Fire will probably be really good!

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