Lionsgate wants to do ‘Hunger Games’ prequels, and I want to burn everything

I”ll show you girl on fire.

Earlier this year, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said that the company was “actively looking at some development and thinking about prequel and sequel possibilities” as they approached the conclusion of the highly successful “The Hunger Games” franchise.

Variety (via Coming Soon) now reports that Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns said that the franchise “will live on and on” at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York today.

He noted that the younger fans missed the arenas in the final films, “Mockingjay” parts 1 and 2 and that “If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas.”

Well deduced, and a terrible notion.

Warning: Some mention of the events of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” follow…

Just. No. This is a rare moment, because I”m not generally one to rail at a – clearly – money grabbing move on the part of any given Hollywood production company.

Of course the purpose of any business is to make a profit. Films like “The Hunger Games” cost a great deal of money to produce, and they must make it back. When they”re successful, we”ll inevitably see a rash of similar stories as others aim to cash in on a trend.

Often, the copycat films miss the crux of what made the original story great, as Lionsgate has clearly done here.

In this case, this is borderline unforgivable when one takes into account that this is a franchise aimed directly at adolescents.

You may agree with author Suzanne Collins” central message, or you may disagree, but when one looks at the story as whole, it is clear as day that “The Hunger Games” was never a story about the Games themselves.

This has been oft-discussed, but clearly bears repeating here: this was always a story about war, propaganda, and the packaging and selling of violence. 

I”d often wondered how a larger audience would respond to “Mockingjay” all told, because it subverts nearly every expectation that the previous books and films set up. 

Katniss is a broken woman, not a grand returning hero. She loses the very thing she”s aimed to protect, and quickly discovers that blood begets blood and that the power-hungry will always find a way to prey upon others. No matter which side they”re on.

This was never meant to be a story about glamorizing the Games, as “Catching Fire” did. It was about luring the reader and/or viewer into what appears to be a sexy and exciting action tale only to confront them (us) with our own inherent bloodlust.

We want to enjoy watching what happens in that arena, and that”s the real issue. “Mockingjay” starkly exposes violence for what it really is: ugly, useless, and universal. That is what “The Hunger Games” series is ultimately about.

To manufacture a return to the Games…Well, that just makes you the Capital…Or President Coin. And we know what happened to her.