Four of Lionsgate’s five highest-grossing movies ever hail from The Hunger Games franchise, so it’s little wonder that the studio would be keen to milk that particular cash cow for as long as humanly possible, given that the series raked in close to $3 billion at the box office after scoring largely enthusiastic reviews from fans and critics alike, turning Jennifer Lawrence into an A-list megastar for good measure.
Prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has been in the works since last year after officially entering active development, with Francis Lawrence earmarked to return behind the camera following his time helming the second, third and fourth installments, while the last concrete update had Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt on scripting duties.
As a prequel, the only familiar character confirmed for a major role so far is a younger version of Coriolanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in the first four movies. However, a new rumor claims that Jennifer Lawrence is being eyed to return for a fifth outing as Katniss Everdeen in the main timeline, although any further details remain thin on the ground.
The real question is whether or not Lawrence would be interested in returning, with the actress appearing to have put her blockbuster days behind her after phoning in her last couple of appearances as Mystique in Fox’s X-Men, although the Academy Award winner has been heavily linked with a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last couple of months.
Any new Hunger Games films that aren’t prequels would probably suffer without having Lawrence’s Katniss front and center in the marketing, but we’ll have to wait and see how this story develops before getting too hyped about more dystopian action.