UPDATE: On Monday, Scholastic announced that a Hunger Games prequel from Suzanne Collins will hit book stores on May 19, 2020, with Lionsgate confirming the studio will "work closely" with the author on a movie adaptation. According to a press release, the prequel "will revisit the world of Panem 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games."
Though The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 concluded Katniss Everdeen's story, the odds are ever in our favorite that we will see more of Panem sooner rather than later. Lionsgate's Entertainment Vice Chairman Michael Burns revealed at a recent conference that the franchise will “live on and on and on.”
Like we suggested when we brainstormed the many ways the series could be rebooted or spun-off into more movies, Burns indicated that the studio is considering prequels. "The one thing that kids say they missed was there were no arenas,” he explained, via The Hollywood Reporter. "If we went backwards, there obviously would be arenas." (Forget, if you can, that the arenas those young viewers are so longing for are the same ones in which children battle to the death.)
Anyway, here are seven Hunger Games prequels we would actually like to see:
1. Haymitch Abernathy and the 50th Hunger Games
Katniss and Peeta's mentor (played onscreen by Woody Harrelson) has his own history with the Games, which is only briefly glossed over in the films. There is plenty written about the 50th Hunger Games in the books, however: Haymitch became a victor when he was just 16, and his time in the arena sounds horrifically cinematic. (Killer birds, battle axes, force fields, so on and so forth.) We want to meet Maysilee Donner, too.
2. Johanna Mason and the 71st Hunger Games
A movie centered around Johanna (Jena Malone) competing in the Games would almost be like The Hunger Games we have, but with a more morally ambiguous anti-hero. During the 71st Hunger Games, Johanna pretended to be a weakling, then, when the other tributes overlooked her, she murdered them all. That said, this one would have a depressing ending, as Snow murdered her entire family because she refused to become his prostitute.
3. The Rise of President Snow
Speaking of Snow, Lionsgate could center a prequel around a young version of Donald Sutherland's tyrant and show how he rose to power. The concept isn't unheard of: Star Wars centered their prequel trilogy on the villain, Anakin Skywalker, better known as the future Darth Vader. This would also allow us to see the Games from the other side, which would provide a truly twisted perspective.
4. Finnick Odair and the 65th Hunger Games
Finnick (Sam Claflin), who won the 65th annual Hunger Games when he was only 14, is like the anti-Katniss. He's charming, making him instantly beloved by the Capitol. He comes from a Career District. His weapon of choice is a trident. Unfortunately, unlike Johanna, Finnick does become a prostitute. But at least we'd get a Mags cameo before that?
5. Annie Cresta and the 70th Hunger Games
This would absolutely be the most harrowing Hunger Games on this list to revisit, considering everything Annie goes through, but...there is an arena. Annie was victor during the 70th Hunger Games, during which she witnessed the other tribute from her District being beheaded, went insane and only won after a dam flooded the arena and killed all the other contestants. Again: There is an arena.
6. The Dark Days
As a film, this might actually be too dark, but a trilogy following a previously unheard of character who was around when the 13 Districts rose up against the Capitol, were subsequently suppressed and the Hunger Games were created, would provide history for the series. It would also be bleeeak, seeing as we know how that particular rebellion ended. (Spoiler: Not well.)
7. The Life and Times of Effie Trinket
The District 12 escort has a fairly mysterious past -- in so much as it's not spelled out in any of the novels -- but she is such a complicated, compelling character that we imagine a movie exploring how growing up in the Capitol and escorting kids to their death has affected her psyche would be endlessly fascinating. Plus, think of the fashions. At the very least, it's the only option that doesn’t necessarily end in utter depression.
[This story was originally published on December 9, 2015.]