Back in July 2012, just months after the first Hunger Games debuted in blockbuster fashion, Lionsgate confirmed that the third novel in Suzanne Collins' trilogy would be split into a two-part movie. That strategy didn't exactly pay off the way the studio had hoped, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 opening to a franchise-low $102.6 million last month, taking in $227.3 million in three weeks. While the final installment is on pace to be the lowest-grossing movie in the lucrative franchise, the numbers are still high enough for the studio to be prepping Hunger Games prequels. While speaking at the Lionsgate entertainment vice chairman Michael Burns, Lionsgate entertainment vice chairman Michael Burns revealed that prequels are definitely happening, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"The one thing that kids say they missed (from the early Hunger Games films) was there was no arenas. If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas."
This isn't the first we've heard of Lionsgate's attempts to extend this lucrative franchise. Back in February, studio CEO Jon Feltenheimer told investors on a conference call that they are "actively developing" both sequel and prequel ideas. Back in July, during an appearance on Conan, franchise star Josh Hutcherson teased that there are prequels and/or sequels being developed by Lionsgate, but he wouldn't divulge any specific details. It seems that, from Michael Burns' comments, the studio is more interested in prequels than sequels at this time.
What remains uncertain at this point is whether or not author Suzanne Collins would be involved in any continuation of this franchise. Her original novel centered on the 74th Annual Hunger Games, with follow-up The Hunger Games: Catching Fire taking place during the 75th Annual Hunger Games, a.k.a. The Quarter Quell. It's no surprise that the studio would want to go back to stories that take place during the games themselves, since the first two movies are the highest-grossing out of the four at the box office.
It's worth noting that, last month, Francis Lawrence, who directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, said he isn't sure fans would want to see these deadly games unfold again, especially since they will have already known the outcome. The filmmaker did add that he would come back for another sequel, but only if Suzanne Collins was involved in creating a story that continued the franchise in some way. It isn't known if the studio has any writer or director attached to develop these prequel ideas that are currently in development.
Michael Burns also compared Hunger Games to the Harry Potter franchise, saying the Hunger Games will "live on and on and on." The Harry Potter is currently being expanded itself, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is written by J.K. Rowling and set 70 years before Harry Potter first enters Hogwarts. The author is also producing a stage play entitled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is officially the eighth story in the beloved franchise. What do you think about the Hunger Games franchise continuing through new prequels?