This morning Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed that the studio is actively considering Hunger Games “prequel and sequel possibilities.”
(Spoiler warning for those who haven’t read Mockingjay.)
Hunger Games prequels, as we’ve discussed on Hypable before, are a good idea for the franchise going forward. Fans seem to be particularly drawn to the idea of prequels that follow Haymitch and Finnick’s original Hunger Games tournaments.
But a sequel to The Hunger Games series? That doesn’t make sense. In Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay book, the story comes to a conclusive ending. The book even flashes forward 20 years to assure us that Katniss and Peeta are living a decent happily ever after with two children.
Simply put, there’s no room for a sequel.
Or is there?
We just examined the last couple of chapters of Mockingjay to find potential doors Lionsgate could walk through.
Katniss is punished for her actions
From Mockingjay’s final chapter:
And then a terrible thought hits me: What if they’re not going to kill me? What if they have more plans for me? A new way to remake, train, and use me?
Katniss says this in the final chapter of Mockingjay as she wonders what will become of her for killing Snow and Coin. What if Lionsgate re-wrote the story after Mockingjay to make Paylor go after Katniss for what she did? What if President Paylor, like Snow, wants to make an example out of Katniss so no one gets a similar idea when they dislike their leader?
Sequel idea: The new film depicts some sort of war between Paylor and Katniss. This would require rewriting what Collins had in mind since the book jumps ahead 20 years and doesn’t mention any sort of battle after Snow and Coin are killed.
Plutarch’s war tease comes true
From Mockingjay’s final chapter:
“Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?” I ask.
“Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated,” he says, “But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.”
“What?” I ask.
“This time it sticks. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that.”
In this scene, Plutarch warns of a war in the future, but then realizes that what happened over the course of The Hunger Games trilogy may’ve fixed things for good. In Collins’ mind, Plutarch is right.
But what if he was wrong about peace? Sequel idea: Paylor is overthrown by supporters of Snow and a new war begins between the Capitol and the rebels. History can repeat itself thanks to our “poor memories,” after all.
Katniss and Peeta prevent another Snow-like situation with help from their kids
From Mockingjay’s epilogue:
The arenas have been completely destroyed, the memorials built, there are no more Hunger Games. But they teach about them at school, and the girl knows we played a role in them. The boy will know in a few years. How can I tell them about that world without frightening them to death?
A movie about Katniss retelling the stories of the Hunger Games to her children would not be interesting, but a sequel involving her kids growing up in Panem could be.
Sequel idea: 20 years after the events of Mockingjay, early signs of the Capitol turning into what it was like under Snow’s rule begin to reveal themselves. Maybe there are murmurs of new Hunger Games tournaments to help keep Panem in order. Katniss and Peeta are the first to notice the troublesome signs and enlist their children — who are eager to help after being inspired by what their parents went through — to overthrow the Capitol.
The problem with any sequel
There are two major problems with creating any sort of Hunger Games sequel.
1) There is no antagonist post-Mockingjay, according to the book. The people of Panem have learned their lesson. Who would want to go through a problem like Snow’s terrifying rule ever again?
2) The story’s ending is right just as it is. No matter how many times we debate how good or bad the book is, there’s nothing for Lionsgate to do that would make sense in relation to Collins’ story.
Again, a prequel would make plenty of sense. Do as many of those as you want, Lionsgate! There are lots of ideas to work from. But a sequel? It just won’t work.
Do you have a better idea for a ‘Mockingjay’ sequel?
Leave it in the comments! We’re genuinely curious.