In today’s Hollywood, the prequel has become what the sequel was to audiences of the 1970s and '80s. Once a rare treat to get the gears in motion and create a follow up to a popular hit, today the sequel has become a near certainty for any film that brings in strong box-offices returns. These days, it’s the prequel that fans will often wonder about. Conversations regarding what happened before we knew characters of the most popular franchises are rife on message boards, websites and blogs.
Sequels themselves have also done a fair bit of transforming over the years. Where one point it was typically only the silliest of horror movies that made more than two to three films, today a successful franchise can go on indefinitely. Even a series based on novels will extend beyond the reach of said novels; as is the case of James Bond or was the case with Harry Potter as well as The Hunger Games.
Most recently, The Hunger Game delivered its (seemingly) final theatrical stand, with the film Mockingjay - Part 2. Though the movie has done well at the box office, in comparison with the three films before it, Mockingjay - Part 2 has performed below expectations. Nonetheless, Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns recently said that the Hunger Games series “will live on and on," possibility in the form of movie prequels (via Variety):
Burns noted that the first two films contained arenas — where the 74th and 75th versions of the Hunger Games competitions took place — while the second two did not, and noted that younger fans said they missed the arenas in the latter films. “If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas,” he added.
Based on this information, we are lead to conclude that The Hunger Games prequels could potentially involve the very beginnings of the games themselves as well as the social conditions that lead to their creation. The original source material for the films are the three novels by author Suzanne Collins. Whether or not Collins would remain connected to the franchise and begin writing a new series of prequel novels, that's another matter.
Moving forward with a project of this magnitude can have its ups and downs. On the plus side, Michael Burns is likely correct that fans want to see more from the arenas. The action that took place during these moments was always rife with tension and intrigue, so restoring that element is one way to keep audiences coming back for more.
On the other hand, any prequels that take place prior to what we currently know of The Hunger Games would not include Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) – a character who was a big draw. Prequels involve new characters and that can be a gamble (as was the case with certain prequels set in a galaxy far, far away). It’s hard to say exactly how it will all go down at this point, but if the studio is already talking about prequels, there’s a very good chance that fans of the series are going to have something new to look forward to.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is in theaters now.