The Hunger Games fans are bracing for the end, with the pending release of the final movie in the four-film franchise. But should they be? Not if Hunger Games co-star Josh Hutcherson is to be believed, because he just gave everyone a glimmer of hope that the saga might somehow continue past Mockingjay – Part 2.
Following the Hunger Games panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth appeared on Conan and were asked by the host if plans are underway for a prequel or sequel… something that can extend the franchise for Lionsgate. And before Lawrence could dance around the question, Hutcherson blurted out:
There is. … I’m sorry. I can’t say that. We’ll see what happens!"
Conan O’Brien gave Hutcherson all of the grief in the world for teasing something that he might not be able to talk about. But let’s talk about whether that’s feasible or not. Since the story mapped out in Suzanne Collins’ novels comes to an end with Mockingjay, I don’t think that a sequel is credible. However, the idea of a prequel set in the universe of the Hunger Games characters would be very easy for Lionsgate to pursue. By the time we get to the story of Katniss Everdeen, there have been numerous Hunger Games competitions, and there could be ways for the franchise to single out a different character, to introduce a band of new characters, and possibly launch a unique set of films structured around an original storyline set in the movie world. Look at it as the Better Call Saul of the Hunger Games universe. Potentially.
Listen to Josh Hutcherson’s comments in context. What do you think of the validity of it?
The Hunger Games franchise has been a colossal money-maker for Lionsgate, banking $408 million, $424 million and $337M, respectively. Studios aren’t prone to let lucrative films just dry up and blow away. At the same time, fans – no matter how diehard – can see when a studio is milking a property just to keep the brand active. And if there isn’t a strong enough story to tell in the Hunger Games world, if there isn’t a new Katniss on which they can hang their hat, then you have to wonder if it’s even worth it to try and maintain enthusiasm around the property. For now, we know that we have at least one last Hunger Games movie dropping when Mockingjay – Part 2 reaches theaters on November 20. We have a LOT of coverage from the Comic-Con panels for Mockingjay, so be sure to check it out now.