Lionsgate Could Turn The Hunger Games Into Four Films
UPDATE: Lionsgate has apparently confirmed that it's no typo: they have "a deal that encompasses four movies."
Lionsgate is obviously feeling pretty happy with themselves right now, with The Hunger Games going into production in North Carolina with a cast stacked full of talent, and all the potential in the world to become the next money-raking Twilight or Harry Potter franchise. And in fact, the studio may already be planning to make The Hunger Games similar to those two series in one key way: splitting the final book into two parts. It's possible that Deadline just made a typo in their writeup of Lionsgate's meeting with Wall Street today, but either way it clearly describes The Hunger Games as "a series of four action films that the stdio will release from the trilogy written by Suzanne Collins."
This summer will be the first time we actually see this finale-splitting in action, as the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes to theaters in July, with every expectation to be just as huge a hit as all the films that came before it. The Twilight Saga will be trying it as well later this year, releasing the second half of Breaking Dawn in November with the next installment to come a year later. Both Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn are among the longest books in their respective series, and while the Potter film had a lot more plot to get through than the Twilight one, each had a least a reasonable excuse (beyond blatant cash-grabbing) to do the split.
The third book in the Hunger Games series, though, is Mockingjay, another neat and excitingly written book from Collins that is pretty much the exact same reasonable length as the other two books. Much as I'm excited to see these stories brought to the screen, I can't think of a single reason for them to stretch the franchise into four movies beyond a naked desire for more money. Being so tautly written The Hunger Games books actually lend themselves far better to movies than the Potter films; this kind of expansion seems only like a way to ruin that pace entirely.
Of course, this is all getting ahead of ourselves-- not only do we have no idea if Lionsgate will make enough money on The Hunger Games to go ahead with the trilogy, but this could all just be early speculation that they give up on later down the line for any number of reasons. If you want your first hint about a Hunger Games franchise even bigger than you'd imagined, though, there you have it.
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