The novel will be set in the world of Panem 64 years before the events of the original Hunger Games trilogy on the morning of the reaping of the 10th Hunger Games — well before the lifetime of the story’s protagonists Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence on-screen.
“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie,” said Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group about the potential plans for a movie.
Lionsgate adapted four movies from Collins trilogy, splitting the final Hunger Games: Mockingjay into two parts. All in, the movies made close to $3 billion at the worldwide box office and next to Twilight is one of Lionsgate’s platinum franchises at the studio. The Hunger Games books appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 260 consecutive weeks (more than five consecutive years), and there are more than 100 million copies of all three books in the trilogy.
On returning to the world of The Hunger Games, Collins said, “With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days—as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet—provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”
Collins has been involved in the movies serving as an EP and a co-screenwriter on the first 2012 movie. Though she seemed finished with Hunger Games after the publication of Mockingjay in 2010, she teased a new series of books at the 2013 BookExpo publishing convention. Collins most recent novel was in 2013, Year of the Jungle, based on the time in Vietnam served by Collins’ father, a career Air Force officer.
Scholastic acquired world English rights to the prequel novel and it will publish in print, digital and audio formats in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand next year. The deal was negotiated by Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Studio for Suzanne Collins and David Levithan, VP, Publisher and Editorial Director, for Scholastic.
“Suzanne Collins is a master at combining brilliant storytelling, superb world building, breathtaking suspense, and social commentary,” said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade. “We are absolutely thrilled—as both readers and publishers—to introduce the devoted fans of the series and a new audience to an entirely new perspective on this modern classic.”