‘Hunger Games’ Sequel Officially Snags A Screenwriter

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:36 am,

Lionsgate is taking what could be dubbed “the Harry Potter approach,” when it comes to the studio’s own adaptation of a best-selling young adult book series, The Hunger Games – namely, recruit highly-respected acting talent for the film’s adult supporting roles and also get some big names working behind the camera.

Word began circulating in 2011 that the studio was planning to do likewise with the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, with Simon Beaufoy as a possibility to handle screenwriting duties. Now, the Oscar-winning writer responsible for Slumdog Milionaire is confirmed to work on the next installment in the futuristic trilogy.

The Wrap is reporting that Beaufoy has begun penning the script for Catching Fire, under the guiding hand of Hunger Games director Gary Ross, who is set to helm the sequel. It’s a situation somewhat similar to that of the latter film, where another acclaimed script writer (in the form of Shattered Glass scribe Billy Ray) penned an early draft, with input from Ross; there, however, the bulk of the final shooting script reportedly ended up being written by Ross, with original Hunger Games novelist Suzanne Collins contributing to the process.

Without getting too deep into spoiler territory: Catching Fire begins in the immediate aftermath of the 74th annual Hunger Games ceremony in the first film, which leaves the dystopian nation of Panem in a state of social upheaval and inspires the dominating Capitol government to tighten its steely grip on the general population, in the hopes of regaining control – even as whispers of rebellion start to spread like (what else?) fire amongst its subjects, all thanks to the actions of District 12 “tributes” Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Ross’ Hunger Games movie adaptation won’t actually hit theaters for another two months (from the time of writing this) but it’s a highly-anticipated title that should do solid business at the box office. Matter of fact, it’s been said that the film need only gross $100 million in the U.S. in order for Lionsgate to properly justify keeping the franchise alive, from a financial perspective. In other words, studio heads are wise to begin work on Catching Fire now, so they can strike while the iron’s hot (pun not intended).

The Hunger Games Katniss in the Arena Launch Tube 570x290 Hunger Games Sequel Officially Snags A Screenwriter

Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games’

Much like other upcoming blockbuster titles that deal with themes about revolution or feature plot points concerning mass uprisings (ex. The Dark Knight Rises) both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire will have the benefit of timeliness on their side, in addition to the popularity of Collins’ source material. However, similar to how The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is generally the most well-liked installment in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, the first novel in Collins’ Hunger Games series tends to be ranked higher than its sequels; so, that could affect interest in the franchise, as a whole.

That said: Catching Fire could mark one of the rare occasions where a sequel is just as good or better than its predecessor – thanks to the combination of Beaufoy’s reliable screenwriting prowess (see: The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) and Ross holding the directorial reigns again. As always, we shall have to wait and see…

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The Hunger Games will hit theaters in the U.S. on March 23rd, 2012.

Catching Fire is currently scheduled to reach U.S. theaters by November 22nd, 2013.

Source: The Wrap

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TAGS: catching fire, the hunger games

8 Comments

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  1. This might be one of those rare cases where I like the movie more than the book. I loved the first book, but the 2nd and 3rd don’t quite make it all the way back up to that level – unlike the Harry Potter series. Those kept getting better and better all the way through!

    • Totally agree the 2nd and 3rd book just couldn’t do what the first did. And I thought the end of the 3rd one was so rushed

  2. Pathik,

    The second one sort of feel short for me as well. Though i did enjoy the thrid, i seem to be in the minority. I thought it summed up things in a much more realistic tone, rather then your run of the mill sappy fairytale ending. Looking forward to seeing how they handle the locations on all of these movies. Where the hungergames takes place is an important “character” Lets hope the writers/directors see it that way.

  3. I agree with both of you. The first is good but the second and third weren’t as good but I still enjoyed them.

  4. I loved the 1st and 2nd book, but I don’t know how I felt about the 3rd. The first time I read it, I hated it, but I think that is because it had been so long since I had read the first two, I didn’t like the drastic change in direction. So I ended up re-reading them back to back and I enjoyed the whole series more, however I still feel the third book seemed like it was dragging the story out and then the end just flashed by in a minute. I am still excited for the movies, just please don’t split the 3rd book like Twilight and Harry Potter. Harry Potter book 7 on saw the point, Twilight and the Hunger Games, there is no point!

  5. I actually don’t like the trailer and will most likely wait for video. I hear the first book is amazing and the others not so much. But the trailer, the entire design of the film is really underwhelming and a bit television looking. This may not be any of the filmmakers’ fault but just a result of budget because I know Lionsgate does most of their stuff on the cheap. Production value wise, Harry Potter is simply remarkable, maybe set the bar too high.

  6. i’ve just gotta say…
    its odd to me that people keep bringing up Harry potter at all. We’re talking apples and oranges here. Two diffrent styles of writing, two diffrent points of view, theyre nothing like one another.
    Yes, i understand Harry potter has become the golden standard of what a book to movie adaptation should be but even Harry potter fans have complaints about the movies. Potter is written on a much bigger scale. The hunger games is more of an close look into one persons part in a bigger War. just my opinion

    • The first line of this article starts with “harry potter approach” – that’s why it is being mentioned. I agree, it’s not really worth comparing one series to another, but I only mention it because when they’re going to try to create a trilogy out of a series that has all its strength in the first book – that might not bode well for the movies, unless they invest a lot of money into making it better, which this article says they are trying to do. So I hope they do. LOTR = THE GOLDEN STANDARD, and I doubt it will ever be beaten. It is the best book to movie adaptation period.

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