Well this isn’t a surprise. Ever since The Hunger Games wrapped its original four-movie run there’s been talk of continuing the franchise in some way. When a series makes over $3 billion worldwide, these conversations naturally happen.
Talk only got louder when author Suzanne Collins wrote a prequel book to her own series – The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes – essentially making more Hunger Games films inevitable.
And that’s exactly what’s happening. Lionsgate has reassembled its original Hunger Games team – director Francis Lawrence, producer Nina Jacobson, writer Michael Arndt – for an adaptation of Collins’ prequel book, which is set to be published Tuesday, May 19.
The novel follows the early days of Coriolanus Snow at 18 years old. The Snow family has fallen on hard times, and Coriolanus sees a chance to change his fortunes when he’s chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games, only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.
Chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Joe Drake said of the continuation of the franchise:
“Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters. [It’s] creatively thrilling and takes this world to complex new dimensions that open up amazing cinematic possibilities. We’re thrilled to reunite this filmmaking team with this very unique franchise”.
“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book”, Collins herself added. “From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honouring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera.
It’s such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem. I look forward to collaborating with them and all at Lionsgate”.
Though this announcement only mentions one film, it’s hard to imagine this not springing into a prequel franchise. Assuming this adaptation makes money, it would be hard for Lionsgate to resist more Hunger Games movies. Considering the Hollywood obsession with franchises, it’s somewhat surprising they even waited for Collins to write another book before carrying on.
Getting the creative team that spearheaded much of the original franchise back for this film will be music to the ears of Hunger Games fans. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t expect anything even like a long-in-the-distance release date quite yet because the studio will want to see how the backlog of big movies plays out, but expect the film to begin casting ASAP.