In the current Hollywood landscape, the franchise is king. Even after a franchise reaches its logical conclusion, every effort will be made on the part of studio heads to ensure that it somehow is able to continue. We’ve seen it with Harry Potter becoming the “Wizarding World” franchise with the Fantastic Beasts movies, with The Lord of the Rings spawning the Hobbit trilogy and an upcoming prequel TV series, and now we’re about to see it with The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games began as a trilogy of novels by author Suzanne Collins which were adapted into four blockbuster films with the last book in the series, Mockingjay, being split into two movies. Mockingjay: Part Two was released back in 2015, and that looked like the end of the franchise. But the film series was a cash cow for Lionsgate, with all four of the Hunger Games movies ranking in the top five highest-grossing films in the studio’s history. So the question wasn’t really if Lionsgate would find a way to continue the franchise, but when. And apparently, the answer to that question is “now.”
Collins announced last year that she was working on a prequel novel to the series that tells the origin of primary antagonist President Coriolanus Snow, and now Lionsgate has officially announced that they will be adapting the book as a motion picture. The book, called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, won’t even be published until May 19, but the studio clearly has enough confidence that the story will be a hit to greenlight the movie version. Here’s the synopsis for the film version, according to /Film.
Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is 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.
The film already has a director in Francis Lawrence, who directed the final three films of the original franchise. Michael Arndt, who wrote the screenplay for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will pen the new film’s script. There’s no word yet on when the film could be released — which has become the norm in the world of coronavirus — but we’re betting Lionsgate gets moving on this movie as soon as they’re able.