Lionsgate VC: ‘Hunger Games’ will “live on and on and on” in prequels


Talks of expanding The Hunger Games franchise have been doing the rounds for over a year now, in the form of spinoffs, sequels and prequels.

Now, Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns fueled the speculation at a recent investor conference.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Fans of the Katniss Everdeen franchise should definitely expect to see prequels.

“The one thing that kids say they missed [from the early Hunger Games films] was there were no arenas,” he said, referencing the stadiums where contestants battled each other and noting the prior films only covered the 74th and 75th competitions. “If we went backwards, there obviously would be arenas.”

Burns also spoke of how the studio aims to get more from its other big franchises — including Twilight, The Expendables and Saw — nodding towards reboots, prequels or sequels for each of them.

In November last year, director Francis Lawrence too weighed in on the probability of the studio going for an expansion.

“Everybody is thinking about [expanding the franchise], and talking about it,” Lawrence said. “I just think that one has to go into that world carefully. A huge part of what makes the stories great is that it was really built upon this idea of the consequence of war, and you have an amazing character like Katniss at the center of it. To just say, ‘Oh, we’re still in the “Hunger Games” world’ is really risky.”

However, just because it’s risky doesn’t mean it might not happen.

“You need to make sure that you have something new to say,” Lawrence continued. “New characters need to be created that are just as compelling as Katniss. It’s a tricky thing, but I’m definitely open to talking about it, and I think everybody’s thinking about it. Everybody loves the world, and the ideas.”

There wouldn’t be a doubt that I, and the readers, are huge fans of The Hunger Games, and exploring more of Panem seems like an added surprise. However, can it be done without having to watch children killing each other? Do we really need another bloodbath? Even for fan-favorite Tributes including Haymitch AbernathyFinnick Odair and Johanna Mason, what might we be getting ourselves into?

7 thoughts on “Lionsgate VC: ‘Hunger Games’ will “live on and on and on” in prequels

  1. 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.


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