Lionsgate Wants to Make ‘Hunger Games’ Prequels

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns has indicated that the studio is exploring developing prequels to its “Hunger Games” franchise.

Burns made the disclosure Tuesday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, saying that the franchise “will live on and on.”

But Burns gave no specific details as to what form that would take.

The fourth film, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” is trailing the other movies in the series at the same point of release, with $227 million at the U.S. box office after three weekends. International grosses have hit nearly $300 million.

Burns noted that the first two films contained arenas — where the 74th and 75th versions of the Hunger Games competitions took place — while the second two did not, and said younger fans missed the arenas in the latter pics.

“If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas,” he added.

Other than Burns’ comments, Lionsgate has not officially announced any spinoffs from the franchise, which is based on Suzanne Collins’ highly successful trilogy of dystopian novels in which adolescent children battle each other to the death in a yearly competition in a post-apocalyptic America dubbed Panem.

Lionsgate agreed to come on board the project in 2009 after producer Nina Jacobson had acquired the movie rights. Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss Everdeen in 2011.

Burns told Variety, “Whatever extensions of ‘The Hunger Games’ brand we pursue, the intent is not to glorify violence by arbitrarily telling arena stories, but to continue Suzanne Collins’s exploration of the concepts of just war theory.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 28

Leave a Reply

28 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Shandy says:

    Well, Jasmine…I agree and disagree. Is a prequel(s) a terrible idea? I wouldn’t say that unequivocally. No, they shouldn’t make movies about random Hunger Games just because “kids missed the arena.” That wouldn’t do very much for our overall understanding of the world and story, would it? If they go back in time, sure there are a few Victors whose Games could be interesting to know more about (Finnick, Johanna, Haymitch, Mags…) But what would be even more intriguing would be to follow the full history–from the fall of the USA & Canada, to the rise of Panem, the initial rebellion and Dark Days, civil war, the establishment of the Games. Snow’s & Coin’s ascents to power. Backstories/perspectives from anyone we know and love who isn’t Katniss. There could be a lot of highly interesting material from the past to cover, and a documentary style could even be considered.

    But I concur that what I MOST immediately want to see (and I think most fans would agree) is post-revolutionary Panem. We want to see the futures, and the children, of our beloved characters. We want to see the next generation and what the nation is like under Paylor’s rule. I don’t know how much of a role Katniss will have in “restoring order,” even if she does return to the Capitol for a time; I do think some of the main characters will get to have some influence in the new governance, but hopefully it didn’t take too long for it to be explained to the public why eliminating Coin had to take precedence over executing Snow. Surely there will still be people, especially from 13, who remain loyal to her and resent Katniss’ actions…people who would have wanted more Games and another dangerous, iron-fisted totalitarian. Surely the Capitol will still be full of Snow loyalists, harboring hatred for the traitors and all those involved with his downfall. I don’t suggest that another war is going to break out and the Mellark children are going to become tributes in another Hunger Games (oy, the ideas I’ve heard!), or anything like that. The future, thank goodness, appears relatively peaceful. Does that necessarily equate to “uneventful and boring?” Absolutely not. People definitely want to know what happens next, even if it’s not another “epic” four-parter. (And do Katniss’ children “learn to fight?” Well, I can certainly see her teaching them archery and other skills, so I reckon that could be something to include–the characters trying out each other’s hobbies and talents.)

  2. Jasmine says:

    Jasmine says:
    Hey Lionsgate, you really want know how to get the Hunger Games going again? Well for starters DO NOT MAKE A PREQUEL. That’s a terrible idea Burns. Look…one of the first things people are more interested in what happens to Katniss after Part 2 of The Mockingjay. They want to know what happens when Katniss is done with her exile that if when she chooses to get back to the capital how she will fix things and how she restore order to the 12 districts so that they stop having hatred over her for killing the new president instead of killing President Snow like the districts thought she was meant to. Second they want to know what Katniss’s children will become when the grow up and how they will learn to fight. And third they want to know what will happen during the children’s generation. My point is, is that their not going to be interested in what happened in the past before all those things occurred because they already know what happens at the end. But yes I do encourage that you make more.

  3. Shandy says:

    My thoughts are mixed & complicated (read: long!!!)…
    I’d awoken to the “prequels” headline and had the immediate reaction of excitement–with a hint of reservation. What are the details so far? Should I be afraid? I mean, a) I saw this coming from a mile away. Inevitable that they cannot let this go; who knows how much more milk that cash cow’s got to give? I just thought it’d be officially broached in a few months or so, at least–not three weeks after Part 2’s release. b) I definitely want more from “The World of The Hunger Games.” I want it to, like Harry Potter, have life beyond the original series. There are plenty of things to be done. I just want it done right. Suzanne has to be involved, feeding and/or confirming the information even if doesn’t feel she can write more full novels. Key individuals such as Francis & Nina (maybe even Gary?) should ideally be involved. Lionsgate needs to hold onto the integrity they’ve maintained through four films and not sell out this world and these characters. Dollar signs in the eyes, I get it–but no turning into pure greedy money-grubbers & forgetting what this title is about. It’s special.

    The question is, how best to further explore Panem and expand/continue the story? What format is best? Who/what do you focus on? Well, there’s the history/development of the nation: events leading to the fall of the U.S. and eventual rise of Panem…the Dark Days, the establishment of the Games, the rises of the two presidents, rebellion plotting. Then there are Games which would be particularly notable for some reason (especially due to Victors such as Haymitch [one of the most intriguing people imo], Finnick, or Johanna.) Is there a full, coherent, worthwhile story to be outlined in all of that? Could it be dealt with via a series of films, or episodic segments (but only if you keep to cinematic production values and quality?) What about a documentary style, covering everything you’d want to learn in an objective fashion? They could do that through a propaganda lens, I suppose, but that’d be less useful in getting the facts.
    You -could- perhaps try simply looking at things from other people’s perspectives and gaining more backstory. But then, maybe that’d be better revealed by looking into the future–reconstruction, the “next generation,” whatever will happen that’s of interest…obviously most of us huge fans would devour simple slice-of-life stories about our beloved characters, but is that enough to engage the more casual viewer in major productions? [I personally like the idea of short films/stories, or graphic novels, or something a bit less conventional–but of course standard filmmaking is where the big money’s at…]

    Acknowledging that many audience members “missed the arenas” admits that, yeah, some were a little disappointed in Hunger Game-less Hunger Games. (Even though the Capitol become the ultimate arena in Part 2, so there was hardly room for complaint there…) They were excited to get to the fighting/danger/action, and/or to pull for Katniss & Peeta in the Games themselves, or whatever. Well aware that they were just watching a film, of course, but still…it does sound off-the-mark to say, “Hey, people want to watch more Hunger Games, & dammit, that’s what we’re gonna give ’em!” As the Victor’s Village post (on which I expressed even more thoughts) explained, this was not the only factor affecting the Mockingjays’ popular reception relative to the first two. And simply watching previous Games in “really cool arenas” shouldn’t be the selling point for prequels. We don’t need to just repeat the first two films’ formula in search of success, especially since financial success will mean nothing to fans if our beloved story is dishonored. At the same time, pointing out that “there would be arenas” in prequels is…probably accurate…it’s just that, those shouldn’t be the key to drawing people to this important, character-driven franchise.

    There was a quote added stating that their intent isn’t to glorify violence, but rather to work on world expansion while continuing to explore SC’s original examination of “just war theory.” I still don’t know that what they’re thinking right now is the best way to begin expanding. Just pick and choose Games sessions they think would make attractive films? And do we want to try introducing new casts of characters when everyone’s so attached to Katniss & Company? Isn’t it better to do something involving them? Star Trek managed to bring us five different, fully developed and compelling crews, with a sixth now on the horizon…but frankly, I don’t know how interested even I’D be in HG stories totally disconnected from any of the known characters. And I most definitely don’t want to see anything that doesn’t feel right to me and isn’t in the spirit of what we now have.

  4. Haven’t they already preety much milked BATTLE ROYALE & BATTLE ROYALE 2 like the corpse of a dead cow, though?

  5. mightymad says:

    Not really news – Liongate already made it clear, months ago, that they wish they could keep churning out more of those HG movies.

    Which, honestly, makes a lot of sense, business wise…

    Until you realize most people won’t care at all about any prequels involving Panem, especially without the involvement of Katniss/J-Law. Plus, the depiction of the game itself in the first movie was, by far, the weakest part of the whole franchise. Very unlikely most moviegoers will have any interest in seeing this.

    So… yeah, they’ll do those prequels alright; doesn’t mean any of them will turn out to be a hit.

  6. Izzie says:

    Anyone who actually read the books knows that there is so much more to tell. The second Quarter Quell with Haymitch, the story of Katniss’ mother and Peeta’s father, Finnick winning as youngest ever and what Snow did to him afterwards. Or to Johanna Mason. Not to mention 73 years of tributes that went before Peeta and Katniss. So yes, please make more!

    • K57 says:

      Read all three books and LOVED THEM! I totally agree!! Fans of the series would love to know the back stories! I’d love to see a young Cinna and find out how he ended up styling for the games. So many stories. I would hope Suzanne Collins would be a part of it.

  7. Kevin Garren says:

    Nope. Nope nope. There’s no books left, let the films be what they were and don’t try to force more and ruin it. I agree that the arena stuff was the better parts and I missed it in the last films but there’s also absolutely no reason to just make up more just for the sake of it. The only prequel that would be at all pertinant would be the war that established the world of the books in the first place and even then it should only be ONE MOVIE.

  8. And still they won’t learn. Greed for money has really caught on in glitzy Hollywoodland.

    No big surprise if you ask me, but when I think how many legendary Studios have crumbled due to this, I sometimes wonder if their Managers and Leaders are still sane of mind.

    They already have no true creativity to speak of, since as we can see here, once again, they want to have prequels. Not just one, mind you, but “pluribus” prequels.

    I suspect they have confused “theatrical” movies with TV land. So, if this is the case, why not do a TV series? No, they better squander their money, knowing fair well in advance that it will become tiresome in time.

    Has it something to do with making share-holders in Wall Street happy? I bet it has…
    But then again, we know what those types have always in mind: just money.

    Art (and I mean true Art, not what they “call” Art these days), fantasy, creativity, ingenious thinking, poetry and literature (again, true literature and true poetry) are words that elude them completely.

    Proof of all this, is the fact that Hollywood is only good at producing Cartoon characters into Blockbusters. Granted there are some classics among these as well. But let’s face it, it has been over thirty years now, that they dish up every one of them.

    I can still understand this, due to easy story boarding, but it also shows a complete lack of interest in true and classic literature. I also wonder if these types have ever studied true literature at all, whatever field of study they have explored in their youth.

    Immediate satisfaction, I would call this, just like a kind of cerebral masturbation, a quickie. And naturally just for the sake of money.

    When will these people ever learn? I guess never.
    I bet we will need to wait for a generational change to see something new and useful arise from the ashes of this nonsense. After all, It did happen in the mid-seventies, and yes, it might happen once again in the future,… but not now, evidently.

    So very sad, but true.

  9. gisnyder says:

    Only will accept as long as it’s Haymitch’s story since they cut it out of Catching Fire!

  10. Trisha says:

    The only prequel that I would want to see is maybe Haymitch’s story. The second Quarter Quell and what happened to drive him to drink and become who he is.
    Not saying they should make it, but it sure would be interesting.

  11. Robert says:

    It’s all about milking them for as much money as they can possibly get, which is why the last chapter was split into 2 horrible movies….

  12. k says:

    JUST LET IT END IN PEACE DAMN

    • noneofyabusiness says:

      If you read the article properly you would see that it is ending in peace, they’re just going back to show how everything started.

  13. The Hunger Games: Starving for More Money

  14. Mr. Average says:

    Sad state of affairs that they want to make more movies showing exactly what author Suzanne Collins was criticizing in her books.

    • Madame Mwah says:

      Oh my gosh, so very true! And here’s the real twist: WE actually are the Capitol audience, demanding more violence. :(

  15. Robert says:

    Ugh, just let this crap die already.

  16. But how can they pull this off when there’s nothing left from Japan’s ‘Battle Royale’ movies to plagiarise?

  17. Asking for a friend says:

    Who are the people with no creative taste lining up to see this vapid garbage?

  18. Marie says:

    I’m shocked they want to make a prequel, that’s so creative (/sarcasm)

  19. Dunstan says:

    WA and M, I’m with you. This is nothing but sheer desperation on the part of Lionsgate. “The Hunger Games” obviously resonated with global audiences but it was little more than a concept in search of a movie.

    Move on to something else.

  20. WA says:

    Has there ever been a good prequel?

  21. M. says:

    Enough of it already. Just let it die.

More Film News from Variety

Loading