Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake confirmed that “The Hunger Games” prequel has entered the pre-production phase and will be hitting the theatres in late 2023, or early 2024. The new movie will be released five years after the last movie and will be based on Susan Collins’ “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”.
Even though the movies are one of the favorites among younger generations, the books still remain one of the most frequently banned novels in American high schools. The reasoning behind the decision is that the books were “banned due to insensitivity, offensive language, anti-family, anti-ethic, and occult”, and in 2014 “inserted religious views” was added to that list.
The prequel movie will be focusing on Coriolanus Snow’s impoverished family way before he found his fortune as Panem president. It shows his struggles with deprivation and perseverance to become a mentor of The Hunger Games. The movie will give us an insight into what led Snow to implement his tyrannical reign.
Since the story is happening more than 60 years before the events of the original movie, it would be impossible to keep the same cast, although they might appear in flash-forward scenes. So far, the producers have been secretive as to who will take part in the prequel.
Joe Drake also confirmed that the director of the previous three movies, Francis Lawrence, will be also working on the prequel. The movie will be released in the theatres regardless of the fact that many movies recently had poor performance at the box office and we’re moving straight to streaming services. Commenting on the decision, the Lionsgate chairman said: “There’s an audience that wants to come back. I believe the market’s going to come back… There’s going to be a strong, robust platform for us to monetize our movies.”
So far, the franchise of four movies altogether – “The Hunger Games” (2012), “Hunger Games movies: Catching Fire” (2013), “Mockingjay Part 1” (2014), and “Mockingjay Part 2” (2015) – has made over $3 billion. In all, Lionsgate has been very optimistic with its other premieres. In 2022, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” came out featuring a star-studded cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson, Salma Hayek, Richard E Grant, Antonio Banderas, and Morgan Freeman. The movie received horrible reviews from the critics and the public alike but still managed to cash in more than $70 million at the box office.
“Spiral: From the Book of Saw” is also another feature from Lionsgate that hit the theatres this year. The reviews were bad for the most part, however, it did cash in more than $40 million so far.
By the time “The Hunger Games” prequel is released, the pandemic situation will probably subside making going to the theatres joyful again. This is exactly what the chairmen from Lionsgate are counting on.