Taking a page from the Walt Disney playbook, Lionsgate is taking its most successful franchise to the legit stage, having formed a partnership with live production company Imagine Nation and Triangular Entertainment to bring The Hunger Games to audiences via a different platform. The play will launch in the summer of 2016. The announcement was made during its earnings call with analysts Friday morning. Lionsgate said that a special theater is being constructed next to Wembley Stadium in London, specifically to present the stage version of the property. They also announced a traveling exhibit, but did not elaborate. This comes as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 gets its world premiere in London this coming Monday.
The Hunger Games stage production will be produced by award-winning Broadway producer Robin de Levita (co-founder of Imagine Nation who produced the successful Dutch musical Soldier of Orange) and UK promoter Harvey Goldsmith, Triangular Entertainment’s Warren Adams and Brandon Victor Dixon of WalkRunFly Productions and entertainment executives Robert Harris and R&R Media’s Gary Ricci.
Disney has similarly taken its most successful franchises to the stage, including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Aladdin with a theatrical production of of the worldwide box office hit Frozen currently in development.
“Robin de Levita and the entire production team are the perfect partners for extending The Hunger Games franchise into a live theatrical experience,” said Lionsgate Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen in a statement. “Their creative genius, combined with world-class production values and state-of-the-art technology will provide a uniquely immersive experience for fans around the world.”
As a hint of what The Hunger Games’ stage production might look like, with De Levita’s Soldier of Orange, the audience sits in a 360-degree rotating auditorium that turns from set to set. Also, Anne, the first authorized play in 55 years based on The Diary of Anne Frank, uses rotating life sized stage sets. The play premiered in May 2014 in Amsterdam.
Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy of books has already sold more than 80 million copies around the world and has spent six years on the New York Times list. The next installment of the franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, will be released worldwide on November 21.