Lionsgate Splits ‘The Hunger Games’ Trilogy Into Four Movies

Published 3 years ago by

The Hunger Games movie cast District 9 tributes Lionsgate Splits The Hunger Games Trilogy Into Four Movies

Given the amount of backlash over the choice of up-and-comer Jennifer Lawrence (X:Men First Class) as The Hunger Games‘ lead Katniss Everdeen, not to mention the seemingly never-ending casting updates, it’s no surprise to hear that Lionsgate is expecting big things from the upcoming film franchise.

Even less surprising, but equally transparent, is the studio’s choice to stretch Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games book trilogy into a film quadrilogy (four movies) – taking a marketing cue from similar young adult books-turned-megamoney film franchises, Harry Potter and Twilight.

Deadline New York broke the news earlier today with a subtle mention that the narrative would span four films instead of the book series’ three-part format:

“Lionsgate executives told Wall Street analysts this morning to expect big things from The Hunger Games, a series of four action films that the studio will release from the trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.”

While the extra film release isn’t exactly a ground breaking idea, it was the first semi-official report that we’d heard regarding the possibility of a fourth Hunger Games film – and it wasn’t long before industry insiders started phoning Lionsgate for confirmation.

The Hob, a Hunger Games news site managed to snag official word, reporting that Lionsgate was directly confirming the four film structure – but wouldn’t discuss where the movies would be split:

We can confirm we have a deal that encompasses four (4) movies for THE HUNGER GAMES.

We cannot confirm any details beyond the below [the previous response listed above] at this time.

How the films will be split-up is certainly an intriguing question. The first book, The Hunger Games, is mostly self-contained. As a result, it’ll probably be a matter of  whether or not Lionsgate wants to go the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as well as Twilight: Breaking Dawn route (splitting one installment into two parts) or go about a more complicated restructuring of the story by segmenting the final two books into three parts – splitting somewhere toward the end of book two (Catching Fire) and middle of book three (Mockingjay) with the final film encompassing the remaining events of the final trilogy book.

Considering both Catching Fire and Mockingjay enjoy much richer, more involved, narratives, there are plenty of places where the story could be split – by simply ratcheting-up an action set-piece to act as a film climax. However, given the epic battle (think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) featured at the end of Mockingjay – it’s likely that Lionsgate won’t get too creative in segmenting the film storyline and rely on an action-heavy finale.

First image of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games Lionsgate Splits The Hunger Games Trilogy Into Four Movies

One major film adaptation selling points is the added “Now a Major Motion Picture” book prints that the studio can help push – which works a lot better if each film is set-against a particular installment. It’s definitely possible we’ll see a more complicated splitting of the books (or at the very least, working certain story beats in earlier or later, depending) – though, from a marketing standpoint, expect the studio to stick pretty close to the source material structure.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know where you think they should split The Hunger Games movies.

Production is currently underway on The Hunger Games in North Carolina. The film is slated for theatrical release on March 23rd, 2012.

Source: Deadline New York, The Hob

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TAGS: the hunger games

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  1. I don’t think any of the books are long enough that they would have to split into two movies.

    • Well to be honest they’re probably going to add more to the storyline and i actually can’t wait! i’m a massive fan of the books and the unpredictable endings of each chapter, i’m sure they can add in a few more loveable characters and kill them off! That will leave those who have read the books, still in suspense with this unseen footage.

    • Movie 1 ends at the completion of the first Hunger Games.

      Movie 2 starts with a flashback to Kat and Peeta surviving then on to District 13, Gale, Snow, Victory Tour, then ends with the announcement and selection of the Quarter Quell.

      Movie 3 is all about the Quarter Quell games, the escape, and the rise of the Mockingjay.

      Movie 4, the Mockingjay, Coin, Snow, and the final battle with Prim’s death. Just my thought but I would love to see Kat put an arrow to Snow after Coin.

  2. What if its not a successful franchise?

    • Very good question What if it`s not successful franchise???Well I think Lionsgate Dumb on movies if other studious like WB ,Paramount and Disney then it might have been successful they did`nt even started the movie but they are planing four part!!!Let it come then decide what to do!!I never worked Lionsgate and don`t event want to work…I usually work wud Paramount and they r best beside WB.

      • Mate, can you please remove the suffix on your name. You’re clearly not what you are presenting yourself as. If you were, you would realise that as an ILM employee, you’re contractually not allowed to comment on any individual studio or film.

        Thank you for trying.

        • well said =) but nice try Alex(guy who sits in his parents desk writing lame&false reviews)=)

  3. I kinda felt this coming. Immature move by a Immature company. Nuff said

  4. Wow I read the series and am surprised at this move. 3 is a stretch but 4 come on guys.
    If the first one falls flat with a pg13 rating then the rest won’t matter.

  5. I have read all 3 and none of them need a 2 film treatment. And all 3 (or 4) movies need an R rating. If this is PG-13 then the series is crap.

    • Agreed

    • I completly agree with Alpine, the movies will need a R rating. If they rate them series PG-13 then most of the 1st book (when Katness is in the arena) will have to cut or editted to suit the rating of PG-13.

      • I agree with all of u. I keep thinking and re-reading the books, and Im like, There’s no way this wont be rated R. If it isnt, then it wont hold the true essence of horror and action these books (especially the 1st one) holds.

      • i disagree the only difference is it cant be to gory and in the book there wasnt anything that bad other than catos death

      • I understand why many people think that the movies should be made with an R rating rather than a PG-13 rating, but we need to remember: these books are children’s books. They were published by Scholastic, a well-known children’s book publisher. Yes, there are a lot of violent themes in the books. Yes, there is a fair bit of gore. But that does not have to translate to an R rating on the big screen. If they put their minds to it, Lionsgate can still produce a film that portrays the violence, fear, anger and turmoil of the Games without necessarily making the films TOO violent (I’m thinking Battle Royal (which I loved, by the way)). What is important for the films to show the audience is not the blood and guts and gore, but rather the violent intentions, the emotions and the consequences. I strongly feel that these messages could be portrayed with a PG-13 rating, which would encompass the audience that the Hunger Games book trilogy was originally marketed to.

        • I say that the movies shouldnt be rated R cause there is not really anything that is really bad except catos death the rest is preety much nothing bad

    • You are right, i mean the whole series is based around kids killing other kids? That can’t exact avoid the gory scenes but I really want them to really capture the action without giving some kind of hollywood fighting scene. The books describe the fighting scenes in detail and a PG movie all about murder….? I don’t think it’s going to be near as good as the books, still I can’t wait till the movie comes out

      • I dont think it will be as near as in inticing as the books, I mean I’ve read the series and I still thInk the first book is best only I don’t want it to like not film her or someone else being killed or killing someone as in I want to see the blood and gore that the books are famous for…. If you get what I mean??

    • This movie has to be PG-13. Lionsgate’s target audience is PG-13. It’ll be a struggle, but they have to avoid making it R-rated. I’m sure they’ll find ways without cutting corners. Besides, it’s not all that gorey. If I remember correctly, no one’s head is cut off. (Heavy sarcasm intended.)
      Probably the worst that happens is the boy getting knifed in the back at the Cornucopia. It shouldn’t be terribly difficult to make this movie PG-13 without screwing with the initial point of The Hunger Games.

  6. i agree.. if its only Pg-13 then its obviously not going to be anywhere near as good as the books, and why would you separate it into four movies? each book is about the same length as one another so i dont see why they should split it. i have a feeling the movie is not going to be successful with the fans of the book… i am dissapointed already. and i dont think jennifer lawrence suits the part, i picture katniss alot differently, and peeta, dont even get me started i thought he was a curly blonde with blue eyes… not a short brown haired brown eyes guy.. gale’s alright i suppose but i dont really like him either.. the whole cast is just seems wrong to me. but whatever.

    • I totally agree about the cast

    • I agreed about the casting of Peeta. The book describes him as being ash blond, not brown. I live in Ireland and we have a differant rating system but I understand PG-13 and think thats wrong. The books are too gory and violent for a PG-13!! I also agree with you’re view on the 4 film format that they are pushing. Each book should be a stand-alone movie; splitting, re-working and combining is the wring road to go down

      • calm down, they’ve already dyed Josh Hutcherson’s hair and put contacts in his eyes, like they have to do with most actors and I genuinely can’t wait to see how the movie portrays the characters, it may not be like the books but I still think they will do a great job.

        • Agreed. Everyone is making such a fuss about the casting’s looks, when really all that TRULY matters is if they can act the part. If they look perfect but suck at acting, then what in Sam’s name are they doing in major motion picture???
          The only thing that bothers me is the color of Ceasar Flickerman’s hair and how they made Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) look really old and her hair as well. I’m pretty sure the actress wears a wig in the film, so is it terribly difficult to get her a hot pink one like she’s supposed to have?
          Otherwise, I think too many people are being too stuck up and snooty about the casting. Lighten up, y’know?

  7. if its only Pg-13 then its obviously not going to be anywhere near as good as the books, and why would you separate it into four movies? each book is about the same length as one another so i dont see why they should split it. i have a feeling the movie is not going to be successful with the fans of the book… i am dissapointed already. and i dont think jennifer lawrence suits the part, i picture katniss alot differently, and peeta, dont even get me started i thought he was a curly blonde with blue eyes… not a short brown haired brown eyes guy.. gale’s alright i suppose but i dont really like him either.. the whole cast is just seems wrong to me. but whatever.

    • Hey look alrigth im 13 n i love da books n im watching da movies ok there is nothing u can say bout da!!!!…if i have 2 snic in i will….n i also agreed dat the movie wouldnt be as good as da books

      • Please for the sake of our future in this world spell your words at least make them readable! Little things are ok to shorten but changing entire spelling on purpose makes you look ignorant and I’m sure your not! Have respect for yourself….

  8. The cast is all wrong, no ifs, ands or buts. Unfortunately the Hunger Games maybe heading the route of harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series in selling out its fans. I love the Hunger Games series and I cannot bear to see it ruined. I hate it when books are made into movies, aren’t our own visualizations and imaginations enough? Do we really need other people thinking for us? Not thinking for ourselves, being to impatient and stupid to read the books, I fear we are emulating the Capitol! It is not in the spirit of Katniss and Peeta and Gale to view something from someone else’s perspective; to let others think for you. Katniss wouldn’t let Plutarch and the rest of the rebels do it for her for the propos and neither should we!

    • Wow, take a chill pill and come back to the real world. I love the books and all too, but we are on Earth, not in the book. There is no capitol and they’re not trying to make us do anything. I am looking forward to this movie. What almost everyone seems to be forgetting is that Ms Collins is on set, she helped pick the cast, and she is writing the script. Most book movies dont even include their authors in anyway. SO I am walking into this with hope and trust in Ms Collins that she wont let her books or her fans down.

      • You’re my new best friend, David. Lol. You said it all. Suzanne Collins IS writing the script, she DID help pick the cast, and both the director, Suzanne Collins, AND Jennifer Lawrence are all totally determined to make the movies live up to the books.

    • AMEN !!!!

  9. Spoons is the name. I live in a small town where water supply runs low. I have a pet unicorn and a sister that looks like a fat hairy bear. My brother is a model. hes gay. My mother and father are drunks so i dont see them alot. I have a hard life and like poop. POOP! its gross its the only thing my parents will feed me and my siblings. i also like apple juice but i expected it to be bright yellow insted of brown and chunky with some orange. The computar i am using comes from the local library (i didnt pay to use it) I want to be put in a foster home but my parens keep me taped in a closet. I escaoed to day when some guy came in a robbed the house. I was meaning to search online for a foster home for unicorns and youg girls but ended up on this site. Today is a great day for me i am happy and free (well once i find my foster home) i hope you take your time to read this extremely long messege and thank you if you do. I for once have a huge smile on my face and glkad i do. I am running off to a menrtal home in Las Vegas to see my long lost cousin who i recently ate.
    ~spoons~

    jk bout all that crap i wrote i was having a crazy moment but isnt it sad???? none of it is true dont worry just a ppice of my new story hahahahaahahahsjkqdwhjkqwd lol

  10. I think spliting the books into half s so stoopid… jus another thing to b upset about.

    • I think if they make 4 movies out of 3 books they will ruin the last book because the entire book goes together. If they do end up making 4 movies i think they should make the Elpigouge into its own movie and expand a little on the fact that the series ended.

  11. well idk if you guys have seen the pictures from the set,there’s not many but it shows hutcherson with wavy blond hair and blue eyes. so they can make the cast look like there sup-post to. but they still feel off for some reason. as for the four movies instead of three, i dont mind it because of the fact that the movie’s are still in production so they could make the story longer. or they could completely change the story, there are many ways it could go but most of them would probably affect the fan base. i just hope that the four movies will be filmed all together at once and released on different dates like lord of the rings was. that way its all one contract for the main stars to sign so none of the can demand to much money or bail in the middle of the series because in my point of view that would suck if one of the main stars left like that.

  12. As a huge fan of the trilogy, I am happy to hear that the fun of the films will be extended! The third book has a great amount of action and plot development, and I have faith that two exciting films could be made from it. I am looking forward to hearing more about the development of this franchise!

  13. I’m absolutely in love with the Hunger Games trilogy. They are one of the best written books I have read in long time, so much so that I couldn’t put them down. If the movie doesn’t live up to the standards of the books, (which usually always happens when books are made into movies) it will be a real disappointment. I agree that the cast does not live up to the characters created in the book. Although I think that Josh Hutcherson is perfect for the roll of Peeta (exculding his brown hair and brown eyes), I find that Katniss really isn’t what I pictured in the book, as with Gale. I think that Liam Hemsworth looks too old to play Gale and Jennifer Lawrence just really doesn’t fit the bill. I’m a little disappointed in the movie even before the trailer is out and I expect to be extremely disappointed about the actual film.
    However I really hope I’m proved wrong as I have such high regards for the three books. Save the date for the 23rd of March 2012 which is when I think it’s out. (:

    • I agree with practically everything that you’re saying here apart from the casting of Miss Lawrence. I think that could work. Hopefully

  14. Have you read The Hunger Games? If not, now’s your chance! Check out Ch. 1… And if you have, make sure to answer the Fan Club question! https://bitly.com/qTSvBM

  15. i dont think the movies should be split into 4 . there is not enought detail and content to do that , its not like deathly hallows at all, i mean that movie needed 2 parts b/c JK writes such miniscule discriptions, and she was tying all the loose ends of 6 other books before it, shes amazing.
    if the movies are rates PG13, M in australia they would suck, you need to see the blood or it just wont flow properly. but i just watched an interview with the director and he said the whole scene with rues death is gonna be in so i reakon it will be rated R, MA15+ in australia.
    from what ive seen in the teaser trailer the music is pretty good. by i agree that they didnt choose the right katniss, but with peeta, they are gonna dye his hair blond so thats not a problem.

    • laiv

  16. Okay, I agree that splitting the film into a quadrilogy is a stupid idea, but this probably isn’t as bad an idea as everyone thinks its gonna be – I mean think about it, the books sort of skim from one scene to another, and thus on some scenes the book doesn’t go into much detail, so all I can think is this could be a chance for Suzanne to expand on her idea (since she is involved with the screenplay). However, I wish this idea of a 4-movie series for teens is definitely jut an attempt to compete with HP, and I must say THG series is worthy of it, since they don’t end on a dull note (unlike twilight).
    I do agree with a lot of people about the whole “it should be R-Rated” debate. A lot of scenes in the book are going to have to be watered-down for its own audience. However, the only argument I can think of to support the decision is lord of the rings – those movies were rated as PG and 12A in the UK, but they still managed to pull it off.

  17. I would like to point out David, that The mockingjay was only using a simile about the capitol and who are you to tell him/her to come back from the real world. If you actually realised the significance of these books, you would also realise that turning them into a movie is going to ruin them completely, for me and a lot of others. Although Ms Collins may be on set, it doesn’t make any difference as the casting agent and director have the final say anyway about who will play what. As for the people that have been selected, I think that the girl playing Katniss is SO wrong for the role and I’m really disapointed about who they chose to play Peeta. But I guess I’ll end up seeing the movie any way…

    • ok, so most of u say that splitting the movies up into four parts is extremely stupid. well, in the end of Mockingjay, after Katniss and Peeta are married and have kids, that the worst games are yet to come, or something very similar to that,so splitting the last movie into a second part could be showing us what that means considering that reading that makes me wondering what will happen which is why i honestly think that Collins should have made a fourth book ( even though alot of you would probably sat” they already took down the Capitol, what else would she possibly be able to come up with”)but when you put “the final book of the Hunger Games on the cover, and then put a mysterious ending to it, you should definitely make a fourth book even if you’re about to make a film about the first book. it’s like the diary of a wimpy kid series, they made two movies and then made another book, weird right.

  18. I dont care if its going to be crap because it pg13! The movie hasnt came out yet! So we just have to wait and see, i looked at the movie trailer and to me it looks like a pretty cool movie and im really excited for this movie (:

  19. I’m guessing they will probably split the third book and make the rescue mission for Peeta the climax of the 3rd movie.

    • Peeta’s rescue? But in the book we hardly know anything about it!! we just here the plan and Katniss goes a little crazy cuz gale volunteered to go!! MIke, if they pick right there i may run to the studio and shake the producer by the shoulders. then give miss collins a hug. than shake the producer again.

  20. Well, like some people said, the books are just fine with 3 parts. So, how come Lionsgate want it separated in four parts? It will ruin the content (and the consistency of the scenes). I am a total fan of the series, but the idea of making it into four parts will cause people to think it will be just as lame as twilight (no offense guys ;3 ) and the movie will loose interest. I hope Suzanne Collins tries to convince Lionsgate to change this minor detail

  21. Who says the split has to be in Mockingjay? What if they split it in Catching Fire. To me that book lends better to being in two parts. The first half in the tour and arena and the second part in the finding and assimilating into District 13. That’s just my opinion though. Not like I’m a big Hollywood exec.

  22. At the end of catching fire, the last line, (not that I’m going to say) really leaves you hanging and wanting more. So if they combine the middle of catching fire and the start of mockingjay, ALL the suspense is lost!! I think that because of the intense emontial things in the last book, it should be split at around the 200 page mark.

  23. The idea of splitting the last 2 books to make the final 2 movies wouldn’t be hard to do… Catching fire’s ending left you feeling empty about the characters futures and would leave audiences with the perfect cliff hanger but if they split off before the 2nd Hunger games, there wouldn’t be any real action (or need for special effects) in the 2nd movie.

  24. I am hearing all this negative comeback towards the cast of the movie. Personally, I pictured Peeta and Katniss roughly about the same way they look in the movie. Also, Suzanne Collins helped pick out the cast and is helping with the movie. Due to this fact, I expect she might add a twist to her own books for her fans to see beyond what is shown in words. I completely devout all my trust on Ms. Collins. I do think it is a bit strange to divide up the trilogy into four different movies, but look on the bright side. That means more suspense can be added: More plot, heartbreaks, battles, love scenes, etc! One last thing, even though this movie is rated PG-13, there are probably people who have read the trilogy that are under 10 years of age, not to mention the fact that the books themselves are pretty descriptive. I personally would say that you shouldn’t be too judgmental to the movie and just wait for the outcome before you state your own opinion full of hatred to a movie who is including the author of the books in.

    Chao!

  25. I really love the III Book Trillogy. I am predicting that all three books will end accordingly. Then they will have a pre-quill for the fourth movie. Also…PG-13 is a lot different than just PG, so I am convinced that the movies will be just as AWESOME as the books. :) CAN’T WAIT !!!
    GHOSTSHADO

  26. hello im 11 and i have read the hunger games series over 3 times and i will simply die if i cannot watch it in the movies and lucky me the movie comes out on my birthday so im really hoping i can go and watch it

  27. figures pg 13 and split the movie. But hopefully jennifer will be a good katniss.i have watched her on interviews and she seems to be naive which is perfect since katniss has her moments of being naive. laim or laim, whatever, i am not sure about since gales role is big but not that big until book 3 and josh as peeta he seems so sweet and innocent which makes him perfect for peeta, the shy and quiet type you have to watch out for which peeta proves in book 3. However taking madge out giving her the pin in the first book may not seem so bad until the mockingjay book when i think it is crucial to learn about the significance of the pin and i pray they dont let gale in the hunger games it ruins how she first sees him in the second book, it wont be so dramatic. its not neccesarily a love triangle until the 3rd book and then it is still not its the 2 boys trying to figure it out and not her this is so not friggen twilight. anyway cant wait though.

  28. I don’t understand what’s with the “split the end” ideas now, it’s the Hunger Games TRILOGY and it sort of takes that away by making it into 4 movies. Here in the UK it’s a 12 and if I’m honest it should be a 15 in some ways, it would give it more that “intence” edge.

    Other than that, I can’t wait to finally see it. :D

  29. I stumbled on this site and must comment about the casting of Jennifer Lawrence. Did anyone see Winters Bone? Great movie starting Jennifer set in Ozarks. She received academy best actress nomination. From the moment I began Hunger Games (prior to mention on movie), I only saw Jennifer as Katniss based on her portrayal in Winters Bone. She is absolutely perfect for this role. As for the others, interesting mix that I feel will play out well on the big screen. I’m thrilled for the movie and stretching to 4 is more Hunger Games on the big screen. Totally can’t wait!!

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