Although the Hunger Games series is reportedly drawing to a close, there’s hope still for fans of the dystopian world. According to Entertainment Weekly, Lionsgate is considering creating prequels to The Hunger Games but has yet to make an official announcement.
At the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday, Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns hinted that the Hunger Games franchise will continue, revealing that The Hunger Games will “live on and on and on,” reports Entertainment Weekly.
Burns explained that the one thing Hunger Games fans “say they missed [from the Mockingjay films] was there were no arenas,” referring to the “booby-trapped stadiums where teenage contestants” would fight for their lives. Obviously, The Hunger Games told the story of only the 74th and 75th competitions. Burns revealed that if the Hunger Games story included prequels and “we went backwards, there obviously would be arenas.”
The latest film in the Hunger Games franchise is Mockingjay — Part 2, which was released November 20. The film opened to $101 million in the U.S., the lowest debut of any Hunger Games movie, reports Entertainment Weekly. Although that does not seem like a lot compared to the other Hunger Games movies, it has still grossed $523 million worldwide.
At the conference, Burns admitted he was disappointed at the opening box office numbers for Mockingjay — Part 2 but agreed that it was a “high-class problem” to have, reports the Hollywood Reporter.
Similarly, Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games films, hinted to Entertainment Weekly that it would be interesting if the Hunger Games franchise went “back 75 years earlier and see how everything became the way it is.” About Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, Lawrence suggested if she “were to get inspired and decide there’s another story that’s important for her to tell” within the world of Panem, “it would be great.”
Lawrence also confessed that he would love “to be involved, absolutely” in any film that “exists within the world of Panem and whether about the Dark Days, another character, or another set of Games.”
Would a prequel even be a good idea to produce, however? In a recent article, Forbes magazine writer Scott Mendelson suggested a prequel that presumably would contain a lot of killing, particularly if it includes the arenas, as Burns suggests, might turn the Hunger Games franchise into the very thing the series condemns: annual “poor kids kidnapped from their families to fight each other to the death for the entertainment of the rich people” in gladiator-type competitions. Although presumably, in the prequels, the games would include “snazzier and more fantastical arenas.”
Of course, according to Mendelson, the reason for drop in revenue for the last two Hunger Games installments could reflect Burns’ statement that “fans really just [want] the bread-and-circuses elements of the first two films.”
Of course, Lionsgate has yet to make any official announcement about whether any Hunger Games prequels will go into development. According to Entertainment Weekly, Collins has yet to say whether she is interested in telling any more stories about the games and arenas. As the author of the series, Lionsgate might not move forward on the prequels without Collins’s involvement, a person close to the Hunger Games producers told Entertainment Weekly.
Collins has admitted that she’s ready to take a break from the Hunger Games franchise, having penned a thank you to the Hunger Games film team. In that letter, Collins stated that “[h]aving spent the last decade in Panem, it’s time to move on to other lands,” a clear indication that a prequel might not every make an appearance.
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