The four-part “The Hunger Games” franchise concluded in 2015, with the series helping catapult Jennifer Lawrence into stardom with her role as Katniss Everdeen. Lionsgate has announced that a prequel film is now in the works, based on the upcoming novel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It’s reported that director Francis Lawrence will return to the series, having directed “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” as well as both parts of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.” Michael Arndt also returns to write the screenplay, with previous writing credits also including “Toy Story 3” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
“The Hunger Games” franchise was a huge success for Lionsgate, making almost $3 billion worldwide at the box office between the four films, making it one of the highest-grossing young-adult film franchises of all time, along with “Harry Potter” and the “The Twilight Saga.”
The Hollywood Reporter including the following quote from author Suzanne Collins, who has written the “The Hunger Games” book series as well as the new upcoming novel:
“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book.”
The first film entitled “The Hunger Games” premiered in 2012, with the star-studded ensemble including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, and Paula Malcomson. There is no news yet on casting or whether there will be any returning cast members.
Empire Magazine reports that the series is set 64-years prior to the event of the “Hunger Games” films that audiences are familiar with, based on a young version of Donald Sutherland’s Coriolanus Snow.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” novel is expected to be released next month, which will give fans a clearer idea of the plot and what may occur in Lionsgate’s adaptation, as well as other potential returning characters.