Lionsgate Eyes 'Hunger Games' Movie Prequel

With Suzanne Collins planning a May 2020 release of a prequel novel, the studio is working "closely with her on the movie."

Lionsgate is eyeing a Hunger Games prequel movie as trilogy writer Suzanne Collins has a new novel set for release in May 2020.

"As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne's next book to be published. We've been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie," Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said Monday in a statement.

Scholastic plans to release a new Hunger Games novel next year, a prequel set 64 years before the start of the original Hunger Games novel series and timed for the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

A Hunger Games prequel has long been talked about at Lionsgate as a possibility, and the studio earlier licensed the film property to theme parks and live concert tours being built around the movie franchise.

The Hollywood studio has also been pressured by investors to produce new blockbuster movie franchises beyond the Hunger Games and Twilight box office phenomenons to keep drawing young audiences.

Lionsgate in 2012 debuted the first of four blockbuster movies based on the Hunger Games novels, which starred Jennifer Lawrence and earned nearly $3 billion at the worldwide box office.

The studio's adaptation of the original book by Collins saw Katniss Everdeen, played by Lawrence, and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) sent to the Capitol to fight for survival.

The Hunger Games franchise also starred Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks.