Lionsgate is lining up a prequel to its smash Hunger Games franchise, one of the studio’s cornerstone hits, it emerged on Monday (17).
“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s [Collins] next book to be published,” Joe Drake, chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
Collins has been working on the as-yet-untitled tome and publisher Scholastic has set a May 19, 2020 launch date. Scholastic published The Hunger Games in 2008, spawning a trilogy.
The four film adaptations (the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, was turned into a two-parter) launched in 2012 and grossed more than $2.9bn worldwide and turned Jennifer Lawrence into a global superstar in the lead role as Katniss Everdeen.
The Hunger Games property takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in a country called Panem, where children from 12 districts are selected to take part in a gladiatorial contest. The new addition to the property will take 64 years before events in the original books.
Collins said, “With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”