You thought The Hunger Games were finished? You fool. We live in the age of IP, meaning that every day brings us another viable property to resurrect, repackage, and, if you’re J.K. Rowling, ruin for the generation it helped shape. Suzanne Collins’ return to Panem isn’t a sequel, though, but a prequel set 64 years before the events of the original trilogy. As such, don’t expect returns from Katniss, Peeta, or the one played by the other Hemsworth. Also, don’t tell Jennifer Lawrence.
Per the Associated Press, the book will be set in the “Dark Days,” the period following the failed Panem rebellion that helped give birth to the Hunger Games, the annual event where kids between the ages of 12 and 18 go all Battle Royale on each other. The bloodshed, lest we forget, serves as both a reminder and a punishment for that rebellion.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
It also appears Lionsgate, who released the previous Hunger Games films, is already descending upon the new book, what with the franchise having pulled in $2.97 billion worldwide. “As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” studio vice chairman Michael Burns told AP. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
There’s no story details as of yet, but fans were quick to posit that the new book would likely center around Mags, the elderly Tribute from Catching Fire who previously won the 11th annual Hunger Games. Deadline adds that the story will unfold “on the morning of the reaping of the 10th Hunger Games,” meaning we could be spending time with Mags as she prepares for the following year’s event.
Anyways, we won’t have long to wait until the new book arrives. As of now, it’s slated for release in May 2020. Lionsgate is probably already working on the film’s accompanying soundtrack.