Tickets are on sale for The Hunger Games and its penultimate chapter. With the series coming to an end next year, Lionsgate is undoubtedly looking for another way to milk their cash cow. They took the first typical step in splitting the last book into two movies, but even that has its limits, and the end is near. So what is next for The Hunger Games? The natural inclination is that nothing is next. The story is done, and the series is over. But in a world of overly-loyal adaptations, sequels, spinoffs, and shared universes, it seems like every studio in Hollywood is looking to milk their fattened franchises for all their worth.
Hunger Games isn’t alone in this regard. Harry Potter started the tradition of splitting up final book of a series into two movies. This trend has carried onto Twilight, The Hobbit(which took things even further, splitting a single book up into three movies), and soon the upcoming Divergent sequels will share the same fate. But is there a future beyond this? Once again, consider Harry Potter, a series with an overall story and the actual ending. This did not stop Warner Bros. from going forward with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, an upcoming film trilogy set in the same world decades earlier. Will Hunger Games be getting the same treatment?
In an interview with Empire, Francis Lawrence, director of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as well as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and Part2, discussed the potential of such an idea.
“It’s a tough thing. It’s a weird thing. That world of Harry Potter, there’s a lot to that world that you can explain. You can understand the appeal of telling another story, but can you actually do it without Harry, Hermione and those characters? Will people care as much? And I guess you can say the same thing about the Hunger Games world. There are a lot of past games and a lot of this world, but without Katniss, is it the same? Part of what I like about the series is the connection to things we think about and talk about now. What’s the new version of that? That would be the tricky thing.”
Lawrence did not appear closed to the idea, but only pointed out how difficult the execution would be. The ultimate question is, how connected will an audience feel to a story set in The Hunger Games world without the Hunger Games characters they know and love, and at what point will an audience simply grow weary of the milking of a property?