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Jennifer Lawrence angers PETA, Hunger Games director says no to sequel

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'Screw PETA' said Jennifer Lawrence. Photo / AP
'Screw PETA' said Jennifer Lawrence. Photo / AP

Move over Kim Kardashian, PETA has set itself a new challenge - The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence.

Lawrence has ticked off the animal rights organisation - formally known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - after she opened up about her squirrel-skinning scene from Winter's Bone, the 2010 movie which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine (via E! News), Lawrence reveals that the scene where she had to gut a squirrel was authentic, and not faked for the cameras.

"I should say it wasn't real, for PETA," she told the mag. "But screw PETA."

Needless to say, the remark didn't sit well with the animal rights group.

"She's young and the plight of animals somehow hasn't yet touched her heart," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement to Gothamist.

"As Henry David Thoreau said, 'The squirrel you kill in jest, dies in earnest.'"

She continued: "We are told that this squirrel was hit by a car, but when people kill animals, it is the animals who are 'screwed,' not PETA, and one day I hope she will try to make up for any pain she might cause any animal who did nothing but try to eke out a humble existence in nature."

PETA downplayed its beef with Lawrence in a later statement.

"That was just a throw-away remark," Newkirk told website Gossip Cop, "and we have our bet on Jennifer ending up joining the ranks of other young celebrities like Natalie Portman, Lea Michele, and Kellan Lutz, who are using their influence to help animals."

I wouldn't put my money on it just yet, guys.

Later in the Rolling Stone interview, Lawrence revealed that when she finishes lensing her next movie, she plans on "buying a house. And a big dog. And a shotgun."

Watch Lawrence in the trailer for Winter's Bone below:

Hunger Games director Gary Ross out for sequel

It's official: Following several weeks of speculation and rumour, Gary Ross has announced he won't direct The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.

"Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire," Ross said in a statement.

"As a writer and a 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 said.

"I loved making The Hunger Games - it was the happiest experience of my professional life," the statement continued. "Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision."

The Hollywood Reporter recently claimed that Ross, who many assumed would be staying on to helm the sequel, had not officially agreed to come on board due to problematic contractual negotiations.

"To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust," added Ross in his statement. "Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It's been a wonderful experience."

Lionsgate released their own statement, saying, "We're very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him.

"He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future."

The second installment of the franchise, based on Suzanne Collins' book series, is scheduled for release in November 2013.

Let the guessing game begin on which director should fill Ross' shoes.

Check out MTV News' list of director recommendations here.

* How do you feel about Ross' departure, and who do you think should helm the sequel?

Watch The Hunger Games trailer below:

- Blogger Bites Back

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