‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Writer Wanted To Pen ‘Hunger Games’ Sequel

Published 2 years ago by

catching fire simon beaufoy Slumdog Millionaire Writer Wanted To Pen Hunger Games Sequel

It’s no secret that Lionsgate is betting that The Hunger Games will be the next young adult novel-turned-box office monster. Hence why it has wasted no time preparing to adapt the remaining novels in Suzanne Collins’ original best-selling sci-fi series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay (the two are slated to be split into three movies).

Catching Fire already has a tentative late 2013 release date set up, since Lionsgate intends to employ the same release date template that Warner Bros. used for the Harry Potter franchise and Summit for The Twilight Saga: namely, get the movies out in theaters on an annual basis, so as to strike while the iron is hot and avoid having to re-cast the characters (of all ages) in the films.

Deadline says that Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross is already prepped to return for the sequel. However, due to his post-production duties on that picture, Ross won’t soon be available to collaborate with Collins on the screenplay for Catching Fire, as is what ultimately happened with the first movie, after scriber Billy Ray penned an earlier draft of the Hunger Games screenplay.

As a result, Lionsgate is looking to bring on another screenwriter for Catching Fire: namely, Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winner who scripted Slumdog Millionaire, co-penned 127 Hours, and was the sole writing talent behind The Full Monty. He’s also worked on well-received literary adaptations like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and the upcoming Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Beaufoy has not officially begun negotiations yet to sign on for Catching Fire, but Ross, Hunger Games series producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, along with several other Lionsgate studio executives, are reportedly “pushing hard” for the screenwriter to be brought onboard and get the ball rolling on the sequel.

Hunger Games fans were by and large quite pleased with the footage on display in the recently-unveiled full-length trailer for Ross’ adaptation. The “less is more” approach of that preview seems to be paying off, as more newcomers who were previously not interested in the project are now at least intrigued.

So, assuming the remainder of the Hunger Games marketing campaign continues to pick up speed, anticipation for the film could be all the more heightened and widespread by the time it actually hits theaters. Lionsgate thus has good reason to at least have pre-production on Catching Fire well underway by that point, so that it can move forward quickly when/if Hunger Games becomes a box office smash.

The Hunger Games Trailer Slumdog Millionaire Writer Wanted To Pen Hunger Games Sequel

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games'

A recent Bloomberg report revealed that The Hunger Games only needs to reach the $100 million mark at the U.S. box office, in order for Lionsgate to justify making a sequel. The studio has already made $50 million on the film by selling the international distribution rights (minus those in the U.K.) to others studios; hence why the $80 million-budgeted flick need not be a box office juggernaut, in order to keep the franchise alive.

That is all to say: right now, it’s a safe bet that Hunger Games is going to be popular enough to ensure Catching Fire actually happens (pun intended).

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The Hunger Games is scheduled to arrive in theaters around the U.S. on March 23rd, 2012.

Catching Fire is tentatively slated to hits theaters in the U.S. on November 22nd, 2013.

Source: Deadline, Bloomberg

TAGS: catching fire, mockingjay, the hunger games

17 Comments

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  1. Hold on, they want to split the last TWO books in THREE movies?

    How are they going to do that? I mean, I could understand splitting Mockingjay on its own….

    • Well, Lionsgate hasn’t officially announced how they’re going to do it yet, but I think it’s widely agreed: Mockingjay will probably end up being split in two (a la Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn).

      • Ok good, yeah splitting Mockingjay could work. It feels totally different from the rest.

  2. rickster your back!! i c with a hunger games symbol this time. next fav franchise??. they will make the second then split the the last one in 2 movies as usual. by the way have u checked out potter more yet?. I just watched the deathly hallows part 2 last night and JK was talking about it before the movie.

    • Yeap, although nothing will EVER top Harry Potter for me :p

      Yes I have an account there, but it is not as good as I thought it would be. The site has no music and we cant even go onto chamber of secrets story, Ive already finished sorcer’s stone. It could have been better.

  3. Simon Beaufoy.. Yeah this is getting ace treatment. Movie two will be more of a challenge. The story treads the line of running into second act syndrome. The love triangle could use some punch in this novel. Writing this, it would be tempting to deviate some from the book. Striking a balance will be tough. Those who live for that kind of story could be pleased but you run the risk of losing those who came to see the other story. I hope the actors can carry it. It would be a pity to see this stumble because someone wasn’t up to it.

  4. Until I saw the trailer here on SR I’d never heard of this IP before. The trailer was enough to make me more then intrigued – I’m a total post-apocalyptic fiction nut! – despite it being a “young adult” project. So intrigued in fact I went out and bought the book, which I’m reading now. Given the little I’ve sampled I like it and will most like likely read the others.

    • All three books are a great read. You will enjoy the series.

  5. *SPOILER ALERT*
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    I think its a good idea to split Mockinjay in half because the bok was realy confusing with all the names and events the most sad was when Prim died i acually cried beause she was my favorite next to the famouse Buttercup.

    • Yo Sadie…not everyone has read the books and that’s a huge 3rd (maybe 4th) movie spoiler!

    • I added a spoiler warning to your comment since that’s a pretty significant detail you mentioned – for those who haven’t read the books yet, of course.

    • @Sadie Bell – I have read the books and I don’t care if you say spoiler alert, you didn’t need to add that comment to spoil people, it wasn’t necessary and it didn’t help convey your point!!!

    • I’m still iffy on the idea of splitting Mockingjay into two movies. I think I’m more in favor them just doing one movie.

  6. It’s encouraging that they are looking at a great writer to work on Catching Fire…but I can’t believe they haven’t even developed the script yet. Aging at the rate we all age, the actors are not getting any younger! Given they are supposed to represent young kids during a relatively short span of time, if they wait too long they will end up with 10 year old boy characters with mustaches and changed voices, and female leads who are known to be married with families of their own in their real lives. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but imagine if Daniel Radcliffe had been 20 in the 2nd Harry Potter movie. Come on, Lionsgate. Let’s go!

    • Well the HP series was helped by the fact that Radcliffe’s a tiny, tiny man. There was never too much concern about him looking too old for the part really.

    • Jennifer and Liam are 21 and Josh is 18. Pretty sure they won’t show too much aging over the next couple years. The only reoccurring character that may show change is the girl playing Prim.

      They are planning to have the movies come out no more than a year apart from each other, so too much time shouldn’t pass. Most of book 2 is about a year after the first anyway. They will probably shoot both parts of book 3 at the same time.

      • The girl playing Prim growing up and showing age shouldn’t be too much of a deal because in the second book, she goes through a growth spurt and begans looking older than 13.

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