The prequel book to The Hunger Games series hasn’t even hit bookshelves yet, but that hasn’t stopped Lionsgate from officially moving forward with a film adaptation.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate has secured director Francis Lawrence, who helmed Catching Fire and both Mockingjay, Part 1 and Mockingjay, Part 2 in the hit franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson. Producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson will also return, with a script by series newcomer Michael Arendt (Little Miss Sunshine).
While the original films focused on the revolution sparked by Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, the prequel will center around the early years of Donald Sutherland’s fascist overlord, President Snow. But before that story hit theaters, it will first unfold in the prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes written by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, who is looking forward to seeing her latest creation get the big-screen treatment.
“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book,” said Collins. “From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honoring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera. It’s such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem. I look forward to collaborating with them and all at Lionsgate as we bring The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to theaters worldwide.”
As of yet, there is no word on casting, and Hunger Games fans should probably temper their expectations on a release date happening in the near future as Hollywood continues to face a backlog of production shutdowns from the current health crisis.