Will Hunger Games 5 Ever Happen?

The Hunger Games saga captivated audiences when it reigned supreme during the 2010s. Based on the novels by Suzanne Collins, the films starred major Hollywood actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. The films brought life to the beloved characters and dystopian setting of Panem from the celebrated book series. While some may argue that the film stars were just a bit off from how their characters were described in the series, overall, the movies stayed pretty true to the source material. 

The last film in the series was the second part of Mockingjay, which made its debut in 2015. The film received mixed to positive reviews from fans and critics alike, with many agreeing that while it wasn't the strongest movie in the series, it still provided a satisfying conclusion. It's been over five years since the last film, leading many to wonder if Mockingjay Part 2 is truly the last entry in the series. 

Despite this time gap, recent developments within the Hunger Games franchise hint at a continuation of the series.

A Hunger Games prequel is already written

While many thought the series was finished, Suzanne Collins surprised the world when she announced a prequel to the original trilogy in 2019. Titled, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, this novel was released in May 2020. The novel takes place 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, during what is known as the "Dark Days." During an interview with AP, Collins discussed the process of writing the novel, stating that she wanted to explore a different era of Panem's history.

"With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival," Collins said. "The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity."

The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes centers around an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow before his rise to power. During his time, Coriolanus is a mentor for a tribute during the 10th annual Hunger Games. In order to bring glory to his name, Coriolanus will go to extra lengths to ensure his survival and success. 

Without spoiling too much of the novel's plot, this entry in The Hunger Games series offers readers a glimpse into the disarray of Panem that was mentioned a handful of times in the original trilogy. This new novel from Collins is definitely ripe for a film adaptation, and that's exactly what Hollywood plans on doing.

A new Hunger Games film has already been confirmed

Prior to the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Lionsgate announced that a film will accompany the novel. The film company made this announcement back in 2019, and even revealed that they had been working closely with Collins on the novel. In a statement, Joe Drake, the Chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, discussed the company's joy about the upcoming film (via Deadline): "As the proud home of The Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Collins' next book to be published. We've been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie."

Last year, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Francis Lawrence, the director of the previous Hunger Games films, would be making a return for this upcoming film. Alongside Lawrence, screenwriter Michael Arndt and producer Nina Jacobson, who have also previously worked on The Hunger Games films, are also returning to help out with the movie. Despite these moving cogs, there hasn't been any news as to what the cast for the upcoming film could look like. However, in an additional statement, Drake said that the movie "offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters."

Considering that the film is very much still in the works, it's difficult to determine any solid information. What can be deduced from these bits of news is that the fifth film in The Hunger Games movie franchise is less likely to star the previous Hunger Games cast due to its prequel status, and Drake's statement about the new characters. Although there hasn't been a release date for the movie, hopefully news about the film will trickle out as production continues. At the moment, fans of the The Hunger Games franchise will just have to hang tight.