'Seabiscuit' helmer in final talks to helm futuristic Lionsgate pic

Gary Ross’ deal to direct Lionsgate’s adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ young adult tome “The Hunger Games” is all but done, with the director showing up at the company’s AFM splash to plug the high-profile project.

Ross, whose helming credits include “Seabiscuit” and “Pleasantville,” joined producer Nina Jacobson in discussing their vision for the event pic, one of the most buzzed-about titles at AFM.

Jacobson is producing through her Color Force banner, which secured the rights to produce the movie and set it up with Lionsgate last year.

Lionsgate’s international sales arm, headed by Helen Kim, is selling foreign rights. Buyers are showing keen interest, with territory deals already starting to close.

Collins is penning the adapted screenplay. Scribe Billy Ray has been polishing.

The first in Collins’ trilogy, “The Hunger Games” takes place in a society in which districts pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl who are forced to fight to the death on live TV.

Second tome, “Catching Fire,” was published last year. The final book in the trilogy, “Mockingjay,” came out earlier this year.

Among his other credits, Ross also performed a rewrite on “Spider-Man 4″ for Columbia.

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