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Lionsgate Planning ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Movie

Lionsgate has begun working on a “Hunger Games” prequel movie, based on a forthcoming novel from writer Suzanne Collins.

“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,” Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said Monday in a statement.

Collins’ best-selling dystopian trilogy of “The Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” was published by Scholastic starting in 2008 and later developed into four films starring Jennifer Lawrence. The books were set in Panem, a North American country with 12 districts — with children from the districts selected via lottery to participate in a compulsory death match called the Hunger Games.

The still-untitled novel will be released by Scholastic and set 64 years before the start of the original “Hunger Games” novels.

“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 in a statement. “The reconstruction period ten 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.”

The “Hunger Games” film franchise grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide. Along with Lawrence, the movies starred Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks.

The prequel movie project is in the early stages without cast, director of screenwriter on board.

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