Author Suzanne Collins has announced that she’s written a prequel to her popular Hunger Games series. The book is set 64 years before the adventures of Katniss Everdeen, and shows how Panem got in such a mess that children killing each other was considered a reasonable way to determine who deserved charity.

The as yet untitled novel should hit bookstores May 19, 2020. And naturally, Lionsgate Motion Pictures Group has already expressed interest in the new book. This makes sense, since the three Hunger Games movies have grossed a total box office of a bit over $3 billion, so of course they want a piece of this. More than 100 million copies of the trilogy have been distributed around the world in various formats since the first book was released in 2008.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 – 2014 FILM STILL – Jennifer Lawrence as “Katniss Everdeen” – Photo Credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate.
Jennifer Lawrence is unlikely to appear in the new movie, as the book takes place before Katniss Everdeen’s parents even met.

“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 of the book 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.”

Lionsgate is in close communication with her as she writes, so we can be fairly secure in the knowledge that whatever she writes will be filmable at very least.

One of the most interesting aspects of this story is that we’re writing about a book that hasn’t even made it through a first draft yet so far as we know. It’s also highly unusual for an as-yet unfinished book to have a hard release date, like a motion picture would. Perhaps we haven’t been paying attention, but we believe this is the first time anybody has done this, including the much-vaunted J.K. Rowling. A book is usually just done when it’s done, however long it takes.

It seems clear that writers are now the new superstars, and the fact that the world is this eager about what Suzanne Collins is doing on a draft of a book shows that we’re entering a new age in which the most highly valued skill is imagination.

It’s about time.

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