Another Hunger Games Prequel Book and Movie Are On the Way

Ration your popcorn.

Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, and Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games saga was one of the last pop culture phenomenons of the 2010s. It came at the tail end of the decade-defining young adult novel craze, and while the books weren’t the most sophisticated, their film adaptations brought the industry closer to prestige than ever. The Hunger Games and its sequels felt like “real” movies: aesthetically and narratively complex, and featuring a caliber of actors few expected to see in YA dystopia.

When the franchise made a surprising comeback last year with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it reaffirmed just how much potential it still had. The fans who’d grown up with the series all seemed to want more, and with a new book on the horizon, the Hollywood powers that be clearly feel the same.

Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins has announced she’s working on a new prequel. Set to debut in March 2025, the novel — Sunrise on the Reaping — will follow one of the saga’s most infamous Games. Sunrise takes place 40 years after The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and is set to depict the 50th annual Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell. Katniss’ mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson in the original trilogy), famously won that year, coming out victorious against 47 other Tributes. It was among the bloodiest Games in history, so Sunrise is poised to deliver some gruesome spectacle alongside Haymitch’s origin story.

The jaded Haymitch is a character ripe for an origin story.


Lionsgate has adapted every Hunger Games novel thus far, and the studio isn’t wasting any time with Sunrise. It’s teaming up with director Francis Lawrence for an adaptation of the novel, which will hit theaters in 2026.

“With Sunrise on the Reaping, I was inspired by David Hume’s idea of implicit submission and, in his words, ‘the easiness with which the many are governed by the few,’” Collins told the Associated Press. “The story also lent itself to a deeper dive into the use of propaganda and the power of those who control the narrative. The question ‘Real or not real?’ seems more pressing to me every day.”

Songbirds and Snakes traced the origins of that propaganda machine, and served as a quasi-origin story for President Coriolanus Snow. Before he became the tyrant of the original trilogy, Snow was a Games mentor. He introduced the pageantry and stakes that turned a gruesome, gritty punishment into pure spectacle, and while Songbirds and Snakes only showed us the beginning of his influence, it will be on full display in Sunrise on the Reaping.

Lionsgate is clearly all-in on the idea, and if Sunrise can match the success of its predecessors, it may set the tone for even more prequels. While audiences are growing wary of IP cash grabs, Songbirds and Snakes was a financial success, suggesting fans are hungry for even more stories set in the world of Panem. As long as Collins and Lionsgate treat the stories with care, we could see a beloved teen sensation make a major comeback.

The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping opens in theaters on November 20, 2026.

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