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EDITORIAL: The Future of Panem

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Back in November, before the third movie in The Hunger Games film series hit theatres, we reported that Francis Lawrence would be interested in expanding the series beyond the adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ novels. As the last planned movie comes out this very year, it is time to wonder how good (or bad) of an idea it could be.

Suzanne Collins’ agent has been clear when he told The Wrap: “Another one? No, the books are done.” But could Lionsgate decide to go ahead with a new movie that wouldn’t be directly based off Collins’ work? I think it’s fairly possible. The series has been incredibly profitable for the company, with two movies out of three topping the yearly box office back-to-back, and it is likely they will want to take advantage of that, despite already talking about expositions, amusement parks and stage plays.

Accio, new script!

If the author doesn’t publish anything new, does that just mean she can’t write anything new? Indeed, much like J.K. Rowling’s involvement with the new Harry Potter prequel trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Lionsgate could get Suzanne to write a script for future movies. She worked closely with Gary Ross to pen the first movie’s script, and was constantly consulted during the process of making the other three movies. In addition to that, it is worth mentioning that she started her career as a writer for children’s TV shows for Nickelodeon and Scholastic Entertainment. She is definitely familiar with scripts and movie making. I think it would be one of the best ways to go as it would be completely true to the universe she created in the original trilogy. Would Suzanne Collins agree to do it, though?

If you mess up, you mess up with us

One thing that we absolutely do not want is getting something new that would just feel like they want to make money out of it (although they do). If new films are made, they need to be faithful to the story and characters, and have to be original. It has to be different enough to stand out to the audience, but has to bring back what we love wholeheartedly about The Hunger Games. In other words: it’d be easy to screw up.

Here are some ideas I had about where they might want to take the story:

1. A prequel

It’s one idea that would make the most sense for me. They could go back to the very beginning of the Games, and show how they came to exist, with the Dark Days and President Snow’s rise to power.

Pros: It would be visually interesting, it would allow us to learn about the background story, and would make for an overall great movie.

Cons: Most of the cast couldn’t come back, so they would have to come up with new characters (and a new actor to play a younger version of Snow).

2. Haymitch’s (or somebody else’s) Games

Although I really doubt this one would be picked, a lot of fans would like to see more about Haymitch’s Games, even more so since there was no flashback in the Catching Fire film adaptation. It could also be any other fan favourite tribute’s Games, like Finnick’s.

Pros: It would once again allow us to go deeper into the story, and understand some characters better.

Cons: It’s been long since Haymitch was reaped and thrown into the 50th Hunger Games arena, therefore they would have to cast an actor to portray him at that age. Also, people would compare it to the original movies since it’s merely another edition of the Games.

3. A surprising sequel?

We never know what Hollywood has in  mind. This is by far my least favourite idea, but I still want to talk about it. Who knows for sure that Panem becomes a democratic republic after the Games? What if there’s corruption, or if some Districts are forgotten? How does society manage to reorganize itself after 75 years of suffering and inequality?

Pros: Since it would take place after the Games, they could bring back some of the former cast. It would be captivating to see the struggle to bring everything back to normal and the reactions in the Districts as well as in the Capitol.

Cons: They’d have to find a really good story line to make it work, and I’m not convinced we really want to see more fights and problems. We’re okay with thinking everything is perfect (almost, haha).

Whether or not the series gets spin-off movies, I know that the story will always stay with us. We will never forget about The Hunger Games. It has (for me, at least) changed us and helped us understand a lot about loss, war and politics. The characters went through this journey with us, and we connected to them, felt their emotions. The decision is up to Lionsgate, which is responsible for the amazing films that allowed us to see one of our favourite stories on screen. I am very thankful, and anxiously waiting for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 to hit movie theatres on November 20th.

Do you have your own theories on how the story could evolve in spin-off movies? Feel free to share them with us!

About Phil

A 16-year-old French Canadian guy crazy about books and movies, especially about The Hunger Games. He has a passion for languages and is bilingual. He's part of Jabberjays.net, TheGeekyPub.com and TheMazeRunner.net.
  • Pulchritudinous

    Great editorial, Phil! 🙂 I think as long as Suzanne is still heavily involved in the production process like she was in the main movies, I would be O.K. with more material. 🙂 I don’t think we’ll get more films, something like Haymitch experiences in the 2nd Quarter Quell would be more fitting as a T.V. special.

    A book explaining Panem’s history would be fascinating too. It would be fascinating to know if Panem made the transition to a democratic republic smoothly after the war. My least favorite part about MJ’s ending was that Katniss never really explained what happened to the country’s political system after the government exiled her back to 12.

    • TeamButtercup

      I don’t think that Lionsgate should make a movie after the war because the trilogy was always about the effects systematic violence on people and society. Doing a sequel will detract from that message and won’t make fit with the overall “HG brand”. (However, I could see them expanding the period of rebuilding of Panem in MJ part 2 and give more information)

      I personally don’t want the original cast to come back for future films (unless its for a cameo). The cast members have completed their arcs and I will always want that to remain untouched. Even if Lionsgate makes a horrible movie, I will always have this quadrilogy to look back to.

      No matter what, I want Nina to always produce these films 😀

      • http://www.jabberjays.net/author/phil/ Phil Barrett-Turner

        I agree with all of what you said in this comment! I really hope they expand a bit the period of rebuilding of Panem, even if it’s just a scene or two included in the epilogue, it would be really nice!

    • http://www.jabberjays.net/author/phil/ Phil Barrett-Turner

      Thank you! I doubt they would want to do a TV special, although it’d be a good idea 🙂 As far as books are concerned, I also doubt there will be more, since Collins’ editor confirmed it. I really think if any more material is to come, we will get a movie. I would still love a book explaining Panem’s history!

  • Carol Jacob

    My personal favorite would be Haymitch’s Games from Reaping to his return to District 12 and the aftermath with a cameo by Woody Harrelson telling the whole story for Peeta’s book etc. I’d also be interested in either sequel or prequel but if a prequel starting with the Dark Days and ending with Snow’s rise to power which would cover a lot of years since Snow was a baby when the Hunger Games were born. Although I could visualize the end scene with Kiefer Sutherland becoming President.

  • SPM

    Great job, Phil! Very good analysis.

    • http://www.jabberjays.net/author/phil/ Phil Barrett-Turner

      Thank you! 😀

  • devonwhpfan

    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/hunger.games.mockingjay.part.2.movie.spoilers.extremely.dark.intense/47364.htm hey everyone i found this article about part 2, and it talks about how the ending will have some changes, but it seems gossipy, what do you all think? Especially the last part about someone else playing older katniss

    • SPM

      I reeallly hope that article is wrong. I have such an attachment to Jen and Josh as Everlark that I can’t imagine anyone else in those roles. It seems English is not the writer’s first language, so something may have been missed in translation.

      • devonwhpfan

        I feel like if it was a real press conference or interview it would have been covered by TONS of websites by this point in the day, i mean they release stuff about the hunger games for every little thing, so I’m confident its a hoax

        • SPM

          Yep, and there was no source listed – other than the implied “let’s pull a story out of our butts to drive site traffic” source.

      • http://www.jabberjays.net/author/phil/ Phil Barrett-Turner

        All I’ve heard is Francis Lawrence saying he would end the movie with“A very small, minimal scene of Katniss hunting.” http://www.mtv.com/news/1717672/catching-fire-director-francis-lawrence-series-ending/

        • SPM

          Aww. That sounds perfect, and also very poignant when you consider she’s no longer providing for her mother and Prim.

  • http://www.magicmooncat.deviantart.com/ Abigail

    My first thought when I saw this was that an extension to the series would be amazing, but the more I think about it, the more I’m reminded that sometimes the best thing is to leave a series be. Have it end on a high, rather than be known as a franchise that did so well, but was then muddied by further products stemming from the production company’s desire to make more money, or try and please the fans, as the case may be. However, I definitely would be happy to see something more from the THG universe. As others suggested, we could think about other formats, like TV movies, web series’, books etc.

  • TeamButtercup

    It’s official guys! According to Deadline, Lionsgate is seriously considering spinoff’s or sequels. It just a matter of what direction they are going to take this franchise and convincing the producers. We will most likely get final confirmation after the release of Insurgent or San Diego Comic Con.

    I’ll be praying to the movie gods until then….