Scholastic today announced that The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins is returning to the world fo Panem for a prequel novel. At the same time, film studio Lionsgate is already working on bringing that novel to the big screen. Lionsgate turned Collins' Hunger Games novels into a series of four films. The Associated Press reports that the studio is already discussing a film adaptation of the new prequel with Collins. Lionsgate did not confirm whether they have already secured the film rights to the novel.
"As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne's next book to be published," Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake said in a recent statement to the Associated Press. "We've been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie."
Lionsgate has been discussing the possibility of creating a Hunger Games prequel movie for some time. Whether this was knowing that Collins planned to write a prequel (she said she was working on a new series in 2013, but did not specify it would take place in Panem) or the studio planned to expand the universe without her is unclear.
The Hunger Games franchise remains one of Lionsgate's biggest success stories for its ability to draw in young viewers. The studio has licensed the Hunger Games films out for the creation of live events and theme parks using the franchise's intellectual property.
Lionsgate has been under pressure to build a new franchise capable of re-engaging with Hunger Games' demographic. It's The Divergent Series attempted exactly that. That series failed in such spectacular fashion that Lionsgate didn't bother to make the final film in the series.
Collins says the new novel, which is still untitled, will take place 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games. It takes place during the era referred to as the "Dark Times," when Panem was rebuilding after a failed rebellion.
"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," Collins said in a statement.
Do you hope to see the Hunger Games prequel turned into a movie? Are you looking forward to reading a new novel set in the world of Panem? Let us know in the comments. The Hunger Games prequel novel releases on May 19, 2020.