New 'Hunger Games' movie based on upcoming prequel book in the works

The book and film will focus on the Second Quarter Quell, which introduces the character Haymitch Abernathy to the "Hunger Games" universe.
Sunrise on the Reaping
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 06, 2024

Suzanne Collins is adding some more meaning behind "Panem today, Panem tomorrow, Panem Forever."

The author of the bestselling "Hunger Games" series is putting out another book in the Panem universe — the setting of the dystopian story in which each year, tributes from the North American country's 12 poorer districts fight to the death until there's one left, all for the wealthy Capitol to watch.

The fifth book in the series, titled "Sunrise on the Reaping," will be published by Scholastic on March 18, 2025. But that's not all that fans of the series have to look forward to in the next few years.

Soon after the announcement of the new book was made Thursday, Lionsgate announced the novel will also be adapted for the screen, due out in theaters Nov. 20, 2026.

Francis Lawrence, who directed the four most recent "Hunger Games" films, is in talks to direct the upcoming movie, and franchise producer Nina Jacobson will return with her producing partner Brad Simpson.

The fifth book — but the sixth movie, as "Mockingjay" was separated into two films — will begin 24 years before the events of the first novel, starting the morning of the reaping of the 50th Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell.

The reaping is the ceremony in which a lottery system selects the tributes from each district to participate in the televised "Hunger Games," and it was also the event that kicked off the first "Hunger Games" book.

As for the Second Quarter Quell, fans of the franchise will remember the event as when Haymitch Abernathy — spoiler alert — became the first tribute from District 12 to win the games. Victors from each district go on to become mentors to future tributes, so when Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark became District 12's tributes in the first "Hunger Games" book, Haymitch is there to assist — albeit, in a very drunken state.

Nonetheless, the character — played by Woody Harrelson in the film series — helps Katniss and Peeta become the dual winners of the 74th Hunger Games and then through the trials and tribulations that came after in the books "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay," like the Victors Tour, the cruel switch that occurs before the 75th Hunger Games and the discovery of District 13 (don't worry, no more spoilers).

"The Second Quarter Quell is legendary and looms large over the history of the Games, even into the time of Katniss Everdeen a quarter-century later. Like fans around the globe, we are eagerly anticipating this exciting return to Panem," said Adam Fogelson, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

The newly announced book and film follows the 2023 release of "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes," the movie adaptation of Collins' 2020 book that serves as the original prequel to the "Hunger Games" trilogy.

That story takes place 64 years before the events of the first book and explains the origin of the character Coriolanus Snow, who goes on to be the tyrannical leader of Panem. The film adaptation brought in more than $337 million at the box office.

The other four "Hunger Games" films — starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta — took in $3.3 billion at the box office.