Sorry Guys, Suzanne Collins Probably Won’t Be Writing Any More The Hunger Games Books
Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence has teased that The Hunger Games movies might not end with next November’s Mockingjay Part 2, and who can blame him? The first three movies in the franchise have so far banked nearly $2 billion at the global box office and made a star of Katniss actress Jennifer Lawrence. So there’s a clear appetite for more, but how can the series continue after Mockingjay?
Speaking to MTV, Francis Lawrence, who directed last year’s Catching Fire and both parts of Mockingjay, teased that he would be up for continuing the feeding frenzy. “Everybody is thinking about and talking about it,” he says, adding: “You need to make sure that you have something new to say. New characters need to be created that are just as compelling as Katniss. I’m definitely open to talking about it, and I think everybody’s thinking about it.”
And that’s the sticking point, could the Hunger Games really survive without Katniss and JLaw? Back when the first movie came out in 2012 no one at the Lionsgate studio could have predicted quite what a gold mine they’d stumbled on when they merged the District 12 bad ass and Hollywood’s golden girl. Just two years on, Jen has won one Oscar, been nominated for another and has perfected the art of blending those Academy worthy films (with her other favourite director, David O. Russell) and the big box office hits. It’s a winning combo. But without spoiling too much, the end of Mockingjay doesn’t provide any big jumping off points for future Katniss/JLaw adventures.
Author Suzanne Collins wraps her trilogy up very neatly, probably because she never expected her YA novels to be turned into a mega hit movie franchise. As far as we know Francis Lawrence is sticking to Collins’ ending when the final film rolls out next year. And Collins herself has been heavily involved in the movies, meaning she’s probably keen to keep the fans on board by not changing too much of the big finale. The success of the films has largely depended on Collins involvement. She wrote some bloody good stories and Lawrence and his team have had little need to deviate from them, the only major change coming from the decision to split the final book into two films, which the director insists was simply so he could cram more of the Mockingjay story in.
So it’s down to Collins, does she have plans to write more Hunger Games books that could spawn some new films? After all, Twilight author Stephenie Meyer tried it with the Midnight Sun spin off (still yet to see the light of day) and JK Rowling has milked Harry Potter for all he’s worth with short stories and the new spin off movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It can be done, but up until now Collins has always said she has no plans to write a fourth Hunger Games book. “Another one? No, the books are done,” Collins’ agent, Jason Dravis told The Wrap this time last year.
That hasn’t stopped the cast from resorting to begging. Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie Trinket in the films, gushed to E! “I’d love to see Suzanne Collins write something else that we could expand on. We love these characters. I think people are really fascinated to see where their lives go.”
“It would be so fun,” JLaw added. “This is the best group and we have so much fun. I love doing these movies. I get really sad when I think that we’re almost done.”
Instead Collins has concentrated on projects away from Katniss, with the release of her autobiographical picture book Year of the Jungle, that centers on a young girl whose father is serving in the Vietnam War. That came out last year. And before she dreamed up Panem, Collins had written another series for teens, The Underland Chronicles. With all the buzz around her, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if those five books made it into the big screen.
While she might not want to eek anymore out of Katniss, a prequel to the Hunger Games has the most scope for future books and/or films. Throughout the series we get glimpses of Panem and the Districts pre Katniss. And with such meaty character as Haymitch (played by Woody Harrelson) and fan favourites like Effie, perhaps that’s the avenue to go down?