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Hunger Games prequel to start filming next year

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The Hunger Games is getting a prequel movie, and it's set to start production in the first half of 2022, according to Lionsgate. 

Francis Lawrence, who helmed the last three movies in the original quartet (Catching Fire, Mockingkay – Part 1 and Mockingjay – Part 2), will direct the prequel, but there's no news on casting yet. The movie is set for release in either 2023 or 2024.

The first Hunger Games movie was released in 2012. Set in a dystopian future version of the US called Panem, each year one boy and one girl from each of the nation's districts must take part in the annual Hunger Games as punishment for past uprisings against the Capitol. The Games are a televised competition in which the adolescent "tributes" must fight to the death.

In the movies, Jennifer Lawrence played Katniss Everdeen, a tribute from the poorest district of Panem who volunteers to take part in the Games in place of her younger sister. The later movies chronicle her rebellion against the regime and conspiracies of the Capitol. The series also starred  Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. 

The prequel movie will be based on Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins' novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which was published last year. Set over 60 years before the first Hunger Games novel, it follows an 18-year-old from the Capitol who is tasked with mentoring one of the Games' tributes, but as their fates become entwined, things start to get complicated. 

While we wait for the Hunger Games prequel to arrive on our screens, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about in 2021 and beyond.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.