The odds were always in favor of there being a prequel to The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins’ first book spent more than five years on the New York Times bestseller list, and all three novels in the franchise have sold over 100 million copies each. Oh, and they also led to four movies that made nearly $3 billion at the worldwide box office. It’s hard to have that kind of success without volunteering as tribute once again, so it’s no surprise a new prequel book has been announced, and that there is already talk of turning it into a movie.
Scholastic Publishing announced (in news we first heard at Deadline) that Suzanne Collins’ “Untitled Panem Novel” will hit bookshelves next year, May 19, 2020. The book (obviously not the final title) “will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.” In the book’s announcement, Collins gave some insight into what the novel will be about:
“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. 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.”
As dark as the original novels about a child-on-child murder contest are, a prequel set so soon after the failed rebellion that led to the creation of the Hunger Games could prove even more sinister, especially when we know the games will continue for another 65 years after.
Should make for a hell of a big screen adaptation, which already feels like a certainty to follow. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chairman Joe Drake told Deadline they have already been “communicating with [Collins] during the writing process,” and that Lionsgate, which produced the first four films in the franchise, is looking “forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
And we know whether its in book or ticket sales, the odds will forever be in The Hunger Games prequels favor.