Why A Hunger Games Prequel Would Create Problems, According To The Director

Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) story may be coming to a close with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, but that does not mean there are no stories left to tell in the dystopian world of Panem. Director Francis Lawrence has openly stated that he would love to tell more Hunger Games tales – on the condition that author Suzanne Collins come up with the story – but where should the franchise go from here?

A new report from Yahoo indicates Lawrence’s hesitation to helm a prequel story to the current Hunger Games continuity. And his reasoning is sound:

The obvious choice would be to go back to someone else’s games, like the Haymitch games or something. The problem with that is that you know the outcome, so you’ve got to figure out what’s interesting, what characters do you want to see, what’s the new idea? We’ve just explored war and trauma; do we really need to see another set of games? I don’t know.

Francis Lawrence’s primary concern seems to be his aversion to retreading familiar territory – which makes sense. The Hunger Games franchise has been pretty thorough in its examination of the human psyche when placed under intense, overwhelming survival situations, and he would need to find a new way to tell such a story. Haymitch Abernathy’s (Woody Harrelson) time during the Second Quarter Quell has not necessarily been shown during the movies, but it has been thoroughly alluded to and explained, potentially making an entire movie centered upon that storyline incredibly superfluous.

However, just because an audience knows how a certain storyline is going to pan out does not necessarily mean it’s not worth telling. Plenty of prequels bring audiences in knowing full well how a story will pan out, but they do it in an interesting way that makes the story accessible anyway. Films like X-Men: First Class and even Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith helped fill in the continuity gaps of their respective franchises while still very much respecting what came before it. Perhaps the smarter move would be for the franchise to produce a prequel about entirely new characters set during the early years of the Hunger Games – but that’s just a thought.

For now, the focus remains on the story of Katniss Everdeen and her journey to becoming the hero of Panem; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is currently in theaters.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.