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The Hunger Games prequel movie in development with Francis Lawrence returning to direct

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Katniss Everdeen's story may be over, but the Hunger Games continue. Lionsgate has announced that a prequel movie has entered development and will be based on author Suzanne Collins' upcoming novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snake.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, with the publication noting that Francis Lawrence – who helmed the three Hunger Games sequels, but not the original – will direct the prequel. He's reteaming with screenwriter Michael Arndt and producer Nina Jacobson.

The Hunger Games prequel will centre on an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, years before he became the tyrannical President of Panem – played by Donald Sutherland in the movies. The origins story sees Snow, supporting his struggling family, come to mentor an impoverished tribute from District 12 in the Tenth Hunger Games.

Collins, who will also serve as an executive producer of the new movie, said: "Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book."

The Hunger Games series was a phenomenal success, grossing over $3 billion at the box-office and leading to a wave of YA post-apocalyptic adaptations being made, such as Maze Runner and Divergent. 

Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, added: "Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters," Drake said in a statement.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snake is out May 19. The Hunger Games prequel movie currently has no release date. For more on upcoming movie releases, check out our pieces on:

I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. I look after all the Total Film and SFX articles that end up on the website