A new Hunger Games book is confirmed and due to be released in 2020, with Lionsgate eying a movie adaptation. The dystopian adventures of Katniss Everdeen captured the world's imagination upon release in 2008, mixing classic young adult themes with the spirit of George Orwell's 1984 and a healthy dose of science fiction. The initial The Hunger Games novel turned into a trilogy, as Katniss went from an unwitting volunteer in Panem's twisted annual survival contest to the symbol of a country-wide revolution that shook the dastardly Capitol and their evil regime to its foundation. The books ended in appropriately mixed fashion, with Katniss getting her happily-ever-after and the revolution succeeding, but at the high cost of her family, friendship and reputation.
Many will naturally associate The Hunger Games with Jennifer Lawrence and the 2012 movie adaptation that turned the actress into a genuine Hollywood star. The book trilogy was eked out into a quartet of movies but it could be argued that, like many of the YA big screen adaptations of the time, the franchise began to lose steam as it progressed. Nevertheless, both the The Hunger Games movies and the books left a lasting legacy, making plenty of money and earning legions of fans across the globe. Because of this, there have been a variety of rumors since the franchise's conclusion suggesting that a prequel was being developed in some format.
Publisher Scholastic have now announced via their Twitter account that Suzanne Collins is working on a brand new The Hunger Games title due for release on May 19, 2020. The currently untitled book will act as a prequel to the original story set 64 years before the time of Katniss Everdeen. Collins states:
"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 10 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"
Joe Drake, chairman of Lionsgate, the studio behind the original movie adaptations of The Hunger Games, has already strongly suggested that this book will find its way onto the big screen, stating to the Associated Press:
"We've been communicating with her [Collins] during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie"
Obviously, this will come as fantastic news to The Hunger Games fans, especially as Collins herself hasn't previously made much of an indication that her most famous series would get another installment. The fact that the new novel is a prequel will surely also be viewed favorably. Katniss' story had a conclusive ending and to tack another book onto the end of her personal arc would have felt wholly unnecessary. Being set 64 years prior however, will allow Collins' new book to explore the fabled Dark Days shortly after the Capitol seized control, and readers may also gain an insight into the 10th Hunger Games tournament.
Of slight concern may be the claim that Lionsgate have been in contact with Collins during the book's creative process. While this could simply be nothing more than a heads-up on what to expect so that they can make the necessary preparations for a movie, fans will be hoping that the studio hasn't had a heavy hand in the characters and story, crafting Collins' new book into something they believe will look good on the big screen. In either case, there's no doubt that fans will be waiting impatiently for this long-awaited return to Panem.
The currently-untitled The Hunger Games prequel book is due for release May 19th, 2020.