The prequel film for Lionsgate’s ‘Hunger Games’, which will be based on Susan Collins’ novel ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ is currently slated to start production in the first half of 2022.
According to Deadline, this update came from Lionsgate motion picture group chairman, Joe Drake, during the company’s quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts. He revealed that the tentpole film is targeted for release in either late fiscal 2023 or early 2024. It’s “moving along really, really well” in pre-production, Drake said. While financial results largely met expectations, the overall scenario was not especially scintillating for the company.
Drake was questioned about the landscape for theatrical film releases, a hot topic for movie executives coping with COVID-19 variants and new waves of uncertainty about distribution models.
He highlighted the potency of “big brands” at the box office, which he said are “certainly working.” Drake didn’t cite any other studios’ releases, but pointed to in-house franchises like ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ and ‘Saw’, whose latest incarnations will turn a profit despite the operating environment, he said.
‘Hunger Games’, which yielded a global box office collection of nearly USD 3 billion across four previous films, is likely best positioned as a theatrical release.
“There’s an audience that wants to come back” to theatres, Drake affirmed. He added that he believes “the market’s going to come back. … There’s going to be a strong, robust platform for us to monetize our movies.”
Lionsgate had revealed last year that ‘Hunger Games’ series filmmaker Francis Lawrence would be making a return to direct ‘Ballad’, based on Suzanne Collins’ Scholastic novel.
Previously, Lawrence had directed the last three ‘Hunger Games’ movies: ‘Catching Fire’, ‘Mockingjay Part 1’, and ‘Mockingjay Part 2’. Casting for the new film has not yet been announced.
The prequel movie will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games. His elation gets dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.
As per Fox News, franchise producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also making a return with this film.
Collins is set to write the film’s treatment and Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ will adapt the screenplay, after previously serving as one of the writers of ‘Catching Fire’. Collins will also serve as an EP.