Book will take place 64 years before the events of the first 'Hunger Games' story

By Joey Nolfi
June 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM EDT
Everett Collection

The odds are ever in favor of a new Hunger Games book.

Scholastic announced Monday that it will publish a new prequel to the dystopian YA series by author Suzanne Collins — who first introduced literary fans to the world of Panem across three Hunger Games books between 2008 and 2010 — on May 19, 2020.

Scholastic

Set 64 years prior to the events of the first Hunger Games novel, which saw a young girl, Katniss Everdeen (later portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence across four blockbuster film adaptations), fighting to topple an oppressive government that forced youths to fight to the death in a traditional nationwide contest, the currently untitled prequel is set to chronicle the events surrounding the 10th Hunger Games.

“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” Collins said of the book in a statement. “The reconstruction period 10 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.”

“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie,” said Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

Since the first Hunger Games book debuted in 2008, more than 100 million copies of the trilogy have been distributed around the world in various print and digital formats. The Lionsgate film series — starring Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, and Julianne Moore, among others — went on to gross roughly $3 billion at the global box office.

In addition to the upcoming novel, Lionsgate previously hinted that the film series could continue via prequels as well, while various theme park rides and other live attractions have globally expanded the world of the Hunger Games franchise as well.

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