With Mockingjay, Part 2, Katniss’ story ends. But according to Francis Lawrence, Lionsgate might make more movies set in the Hunger Games universe.
Three out of the four Hunger Games movies based on Suzanne Collins’ popular trilogy have been released so far, with Mockingjay, Part 1 hitting cinemas last week.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, the franchise set Lionsgate on fire, and next year’s Mockingjay, Part 2 is expected to break box office records.
Across the globe, fans love the world of the Hunger Games, and the film’s viral marketing campaigns have proved that we don’t just want Katniss, Peeta and Gale — we want Finnick, Annie, Johanna, Haymitch, Effie, President Snow, Beetee and the dozens of other prominent side characters.
Is it so far out to imagine, then, that Lionsgate might be thinking about expanding Suzanne Collins’ world to tell some of these stories?
Speaking to MTV, Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence admits that the idea is alluring — but would obviously also be a huge risk.
“Everybody is thinking about [expanding the franchise], and talking about it,” the director reveals.
However, he also shares his worries about diving into a Katniss-less world, and having to hype up a whole new set of characters.
“I just think that one has to go into that world carefully. A huge part of what makes the stories great is that it was really built upon this idea of the consequence of war, and you have an amazing character like Katniss at the center of it,” Lawrence says. “To just say, ‘Oh, we’re still in the Hunger Games world’ is really risky.”
Of course, the only question for Lionsgate is whether it’s worth taking that risk. It would certainly be possible to tell engaging, evocative stories following other tributes’ journeys through past Hunger Games — either by following Finnick, Johanna or a young Haymitch (they could do a whole Hunger Games: Origins series), or by inventing characters from scratch.
However, it’s worth noting that a main reason why the Hunger Games movies have been so successful has been because of Jennifer Lawrence’s star power. The actress rose to fame around the time The Hunger Games was released in 2012, starring in X-Men the year before, and Silver Linings Playbook later the same year.
She has since become one of the most famous actresses in the world, and we’re sure Mockingjay, Part 1‘s box office success isn’t only due to hardcore Hunger Games fans watching the movie 10 times each.
The other major fantasy franchises — Harry Potter, Twilight and Lord of the Rings — have all developed expansions for their original worlds. Peter Jackson returned to Middle-earth to make a new trilogy based on the 300-page children’s book The Hobbit, J.K. Rowling is writing the Fantastic Beasts movie series, and Twilight is developing a series of fan-made spinoff shorts.
Could Lionsgate do something similar to keep the Hunger Games franchise alive? Should they?
We’ll have to wait to hear what Lionsgate decides to do. Until then: what do you think about expanding the Hunger Games universe with more movies?