The Phantom Menace of Hunger Games movies is on the way.
As publisher Scholastic announced Monday that author Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel book is set for release May 19, 2020, Lionsgate also revealed their plans to make a movie based on the book.
“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” announced Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
The prequel takes place 64 years before Katniss Everdeen’s story, as it will chronicle the world of Panem starting on the morning of the Reaping during the tenth Hunger Games.
Lionsgate has flirted with doing a Hunger Games prequel for years — one with significantly more arena-based action — ever since they released the final chapter in Katniss’ story, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part II in 2015. With Jennifer Lawrence’s final film in the franchise, Lionsgate took a page from Harry Potter‘s playbook and split the last story into two parts — with the entire film series netting almost $3 billion at the box office in the process. Now, it seems they are trying to go the Fantastic Beasts route with a prequel series that involves events and characters other than those fans of both the original books and films care about.
Here’s hoping this prequel experience fares better commercially and artistically than the Fantastic Beasts prequels.