The story of Katniss Everdeen is drawing to a close with the recent release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, but could the blockbuster film series based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novels continue?
Perhaps, according to Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns, who reportedly said at an investor conference that the franchise will “live on and on and on.”
Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday, Burns brought up the possibility of Hunger Games prequels and said, “The one thing that kids say they missed [from the Mockingjay films] was there were no arenas,” a reference to the booby-trapped stadiums where teenage contestants like Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss fight for their lives. “If we went backwards, there obviously would be arenas.”
Released Nov. 20, Mockingjay — Part 2 opened to $101 million in the U.S., the lowest debut of any Hunger Games movie. Even so, it has currently grossed $523 million at the worldwide box office, which is hardly chump change.
And Burns isn’t the first person involved with the Hunger Games series to speculate about prequels.
Filmmaker Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games installments, recently told EW, “The interesting part of the story for me is to go back 75 years earlier and see how everything became the way it is. I’m sure if Suzanne were to get inspired and decide there’s another story that’s important for her to tell that exists within the world of Panem and whether about the Dark Days, another character, or another set of Games, whatever that could be, I’m sure it would be great. And I’d loved to be involved, absolutely.”
But don’t start beating the Capitol drums just yet.
Lionsgate has yet to make any official announcement about the future of The Hunger Games on screen, and as Francis Lawrence’s comments underscore, Collins has not said whether she’s interested in telling more stories set in that world. It’s unlikely that Lionsgate would move forward on further Hunger Games films without Collins’ involvement, or at least her blessing, a person familiar with the studio’s thinking told EW.
For now, the author seems content to take a break from the franchise. Just last month, she penned a long, heartfelt thank you to the Hunger Games film team that began, “Having spent the last decade in Panem, it’s time to move on to other lands.”