Lionsgate is working to develop Hunger Games prequels
THE HUNGER GAMES has been a big moneymaker for Lionsgate since they first adapted Suzanne Collins' world of Panem back in 2012. But with MOCKINGJAY - PART 2 bowing in theaters a few short weeks ago, that gravy train has run its course for the studio. All of Collin's published works within the trilogy have been used up with the story of Katniss Everdeen told across four films, and that's it. There's nothing left. Or is there?
You know what they say... where there's a will (to make more money), there's a way.
Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns confirmed rumors that the studio is looking into developing prequels to THE HUNGER GAMES series, telling UBS Global Media and Communications Conference today it will "live on and on."
While he did not specifically state that prequels were the chosen path being explored at the moment, he did hint at it with his comment that "If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas."
That remark served as a follow-up to his commentary that younger fans missed the arenas in the last two movies, which is why the last two movies may not tailed off at the box office after topping out at CATCHING FIRE.
In addition, he told Variety, Whatever extensions of The Hunger Games brand we pursue, the intent is not to glorify violence by arbitrarily telling arena stories, but to continue Suzanne Collinss exploration of the concepts of just war theory.
Now the problem with his last words are that they seem diametrically opposed to what he had already said about the arenas. Young audiences want action. They want violence. They want the Games, and, if we go forth with these ideas, then we're sure as hell going to give them to the audiences.
Those ideas do not work with Collins' concepts in her books or in the movies adapting her books either. She is specifcally going out of her way to comment on violence as entertainment, especially in the way it is portrayed in THE HUNGER GAMES. That's why those latter films move out of the arena and into politics. There's a social commentary going on there in her works to help inform and educate. It's not something to be brushed aside, so we can see more cool action set-ups.
These are the comments of someone who doesn't get what his property is about or why it worked in the first place, and it certainly doesn't inspire confidence in what Lionsgate might be envisioning if all they see is spectacle and the resulting dollar signs. That's not what brought them to the dance. That's not what THE HUNGER GAMES is, and it only looks like trouble on the horizon if that's the direction they want to go.
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