Currently in theaters, the final chapter of The Hunger Games saga, Mockingjay – Part 2 brings the massively popular series full circle. Fans can watch as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and their comrades finally wage a bloody war for the future of Panem. Assuming they succeed in upending President Snow’s (Donald Southerland) regime and restoring order to their world, though, what then becomes of The Hunger Games?
Recently, Lionsgate VP Michael Burns announced, to the delight of fanatics everywhere, that the dystopian series based on the novels of Suzanne Collins might get another go-around. His announcement has many devotees clamoring for more, but not everyone is ready to catch fire again.
From the New York carpet premiere of her upcoming film Joy, Variety’s Brent Lang quoted Jennifer Lawrence’s response to the news: "It's too soon," she said. "They need to let the body get cold." Her humorous retort has already garnered a mixed response on Twitter. Some fans support the premature view of the prequels, while others are clearly salivating for more Hunger Games.
Since the prequels would take place well before the time of first series’ relatively young cast, Lawrence and crew won’t be a part of the origin story. Her off-the-cuff remark also makes sense from a non-inclusive standpoint. Still, with the movie posters for Mockingjay – Part 2 barely even dry, so to speak, and box office still being collected, the announcement for the series does seem a bit premature.
Still, with strong ticket sales – the film just claimed its fourth week in a row at number one – interest in the storyline is clearly strong right now. Lionsgate’s desire to fan the flames of its winning series makes perfect sense at this point. With continued success, as well as the booming umbrella franchise craze in full swing, many fans have already expressed interest learning more about Panem’s origin story. Stepping into the past could bring new insights into the series and a new generation of fans as well.
Of course, prequels are a risky business, as George Lucas famously learned. Although fan response to the finale has been overwhelmingly popular, and the film has garnered strong reviews, the less-than-impressive box office sales (compared to its predecessors) may indicate decline in the series’ momentum. But if The Hunger Games spin-offs are scripted by Collins and directed by Francis Lawrence, and can retain its backwards-compatible cast members, a foundation story could really spark renewed interest in the Games.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is now in theaters everywhere. It is 137 minutes long, and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material.
Source: Brent Lang (via Twitter)