Much like Harry Potter or Twilight, The Hunger Games franchise received tremendous success while building a significant loyal fan base. All three started with the monumental popularity of their original epic novels, which were then adapted into a series of legendary movies.
The Lionsgate CEO, Jon Feltheimer, recently led a meeting with 50 members of his theatrical distribution team. Their intention was to search for a solution to extend its franchises, with a particular emphasis on The Hunger Games. How will they allow the world of Panem to live on?
Where Does The CEO See This Going?
Upon remembering all the widely-known franchises, you'll notice that they constantly appear in various forms, no matter wherever you go. Even after the series officially ends, it'll find a way to immortalize itself through whatever means necessary. Feltheimer said it himself, the production company would be foolish not to look further into expanding the franchise:
“I would say that there’s no big franchise that any studio has that they’re not trying to look at prequels, sequels, spinoffs, some version of that. We think that there’s a great piece of IP with Hunger Games. It’s a great world.”
What Tangible Options Are There To Expand The Hunger Games?
Whenever a franchise receives a widespread following, the options to extend it are numerous. Merchandise is an obvious one, opening to a world of endless objects, apparel, home decor, and games. When the story takes place in a unique fictional world, amusement parks also give much room to profit, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
This is the case for The Hunger Games, which could not only turn its arena into its own amusement park, but could also utilize the entire city of Panem with The Capitol and its 13 districts. The layout of the land and its particular aesthetic would undoubtedly make for an interesting amusement park.
Could We Get A Hunger Games TV Show?
We've established that there are infinite possibilities to profit from the franchise, but what are Lionsgate's options for extending the life of The Hunger Games on screen? The CW already launched a reality TV show based on the franchise in 2013, entitled Capture. Teams are made up and given a mission to be the lone survivors of the arena in exchange for a hefty cash prize.
While a reality TV show is a great idea — one that they've already executed — we believe there is more room for The Hunger Games franchise on television. Lionsgate recently struck a deal with Starz, begging us to wonder if TV is going to be their prioritized outlet. Would they be able to successfully build a TV show around Suzanne Collins's story?
Is It Risky To Cling On To Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen?
It may be risky to recast Katniss Everdeen as a central role, given the attachment fans have with Jennifer Lawrence. Whichever entertainer would stand in as her character would have major shoes to fill. Then again, Lawrence probably thought the same thing upon being cast as the lead. They could try to sign on the Oscar-winning actress, but as she has moved on in her career, it would be unlikely and expensive.
Changing the cast while transitioning from movie to TV or vice versa isn't unheard of. An example of recasting a respected actor is Grant Gustin in DC's The Flash, an extremely successful TV show on The CW. It has been confirmed that the superhero will have his own movie, but with an entirely different cast. The same pressure of meeting expectations can be said for Jared Leto whose predecessor is the late Heath Ledger in his role as the Joker in the upcoming Suicide Squad.
Should They Do A Spin-off, Prequel Or Sequel?
If they wanted to avoid recasting the protagonist, then they should evade centering it around Katniss Everdeen. Perhaps a better way to approach the project, would be to make a spin-off as opposed to a mere adaptation. They could focus on one of the other characters in the franchise, delving deeper into their past, futures, or simply changing the perspective of the story.
Another option would be to take the form of a prequel, exploring the history of Panem as a whole or with a focus on The Capitol or the districts. This would certainly make for some interesting characters. They could also just make it a sequel, in which a new rise to power threatens their newly found peace, focusing on Katniss and Peeta's children.
What Are Potential Storyline Ideas?
You could center around a group of Panem celebrities, and what it's like to be them. This could include Effie Trinket, Caesar Flickerman, Seneca Crane, President Snow, Cinna, Portia or even Finnick O'dair. The latter could even have his own spin-off, along with Haymitch Abernathy, Johanna Mason, or perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Everdeen. There could even be a spin-off delving into the lives of Peacekeepers or Gamemakers.
If they decided to go for a large group of protagonists, they could highlight a different district per episode, or do features on the past winners of each district. If they wanted to respect the timeline of where Mockingjay Part 2 left us, they could see how each former winner has adjusted to life, using flashbacks as a mean to explore their darker days and how it has effected them in the present.
Would This Only Work On TV?
This idea of spin-offs, prequels or sequels would make for great material on television, but that does not mean it wouldn't have great success on the big screen. After all, besides the books, that is what fans have grown accustomed to. Besides, when fans grow up loving a franchise, they'll take advantage of any opportunity to satisfy their nostalgia. This was proven at The Hunger Games exhibition.
It wouldn't be hard to convince people to go watch a movie revolving around any of the themes previously mentioned. Since The Hunger Games series ended, the entirety of its fan base would pretty much gear towards whichever medium presented to them.
What Off-Screen Creative Outlets Have Yet To Be Explored?
The previously mentioned options are not the only possible creative outlets. While the movies were essentially a series of novels, they could also be turned into graphic novels. As the world of Marvel and DC Comics continues to grow, as they expand their audience, the world of comic books is becoming more and more mainstream.
Another off-screen possibility, which was recently done for Harry Potter, received a flock of fans buying tickets for over a year in advance. That's right, we're talking about the play written by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. The Hunger Games could follow their lead, taking the form of a play or musical, preferably written by Suzanne Collins.
The possibilities are endless, but how would you like to see The Hunger Games live on?