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Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games franchise may have bittersweetly concluded back in 2015, but we’re on the precipice of returning to Panem in the near future. Alongside the release of Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes earlier this year, Lionsgate has also announced it will be adapting the prequel into a movie. The bestselling novel may not be about our favorite District 12 tributes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see them again.

The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes centers on Coriolanus Snow as a teenager, long before he became the cruel Capitol president Donald Sutherland portrayed in the movie franchise. When the film adaptation of the prequel goes further into development, we’ll certainly be missing the faces of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Even though the series’ Peeta Mellark has not read Collins’ new book, Hutcherson showed interest in coming back for a prequel with these words:

I don't know anything about it story-wise, but if it has to do with how we got to the world of the Hunger Games, then I think that's going to be super interesting. I would like Peeta to be in it because I would like to be with these people again and work more in that world. 100%, that would be great. I love that whole cast and crew. If they can get some of the same people involved, [I would do it] no question.

As the actor told ET, playing the boy with the bread from 2012 to 2015 was an all-time great experience for him, and he’d return to play his famous character “no question” if given the chance. His motivations not only stem from his love for his Hunger Games family, but his continued interest in the building of the dystopian world Suzanne Collins established with her original trilogy.

Josh Hutcherson is 27 and five years removed from Mockingjay Part 2, which had Katniss and Peeta having a happy ending by bringing peace to Panem and living a quiet life void of politics with their own children. Peeta technically cannot find a place in the storyline of Ballad of Songbird and Snakes because he wasn’t born yet, but we definitely want to take this enthusiasm and run with it somehow.

Katie Krause, the ET reporter Hutcherson was speaking to, suggested the upcoming Hunger Games movie could perhaps find a place for him with fast forwards, which he answered promptly with positive interest. The actor is still in touch with his castmates, recently meeting Jennifer Lawrence for a “socially-distanced dinner” during quarantine to catch up. Maybe he’d be the one to bring her on board too?

Either way, it'll be exciting to see the Hunger Games franchise return to the big screen with Ballad of Songbird and Snakes. The book takes things back to the 10th Hunger Games, when Snow must mentor a District 12 tribute named Lucy Gray Baird. The entire Hunger Games series was just made available to watch in its entirety for free on Tubi. Stick with us on CinemaBlend for more news on the franchise as it comes.

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