A Deadline report today offhandedly broke big news that Lionsgate hoped to deliver four movies out of Suzanne Collins’ ridiculously popular dystopian trilogy The Hunger Games. The move, as revealed by some Lionsgate execs in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, would follow the recent trend of splitting the final book in series like Harry Potter and Twilight into two films. But not so fast, number crunchers. Turns out that the plan is not solid yet, as the focus remains on the first film and how it performs next March. (Lionsgate has no comment.)
But even the prospect of four films has the potential to send hardcore fans into an emotional tailspin. On the one hand, this means more of Katniss Everdeen and the rest of her friends and foes on the big screen. (More Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland… seriously, this cast!) But the move would also run the risk of offending purists who could bristle at what might be interpreted as the studio making an easy cash grab. Surely they’ll take some heart that writer Suzanne Collins continues to assume such an active role in the screenwriting process. The original architect of this whole universe would ostensibly remain at the center of creative decisions, which means the best interests of Katniss’ story should remain in good hands.
In the meantime the studio is staying mum on their four films fantasy, let alone where it might split up the action. So fans will have to debate in a vacuum about which book might be lopped in two. With the requisite SPOILER ALERT! flashing red and making siren noises in everyone’s mind, allow me to make my own humble suggestion: Leave the relatively slimmer third book, Mockingjay, alone. Instead dig deep into meaty Book 2, Catching Fire. I always thought Collins cut the scene in the hunting cabin with Bonnie and Twill, the runaways from District 8 who spoke of revolution, a little short. There’s more tense fun to be had with them and their revelations. Perhaps a natural gut punch of an end to a second movie could follow Snow soonafter dropping his bomb on Katniss that he’s tossing her back in the arena. Boom! Jennifer Lawrence herself said this was her favorite scene of the entire trilogy, and the one she could not wait to bring to life.
What do you think?