As we all know, franchises never end. They get reinvented, rebooted, spun-off, prequel-ed, but in today’s climate, the end to one series is simply the door to a new beginning. So even though “The Hunger Games” heads to its finale with next year’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” you probably won’t be shocked to learn that there is already chatter about how to bring audiences back to the Capitol.
“Everybody is thinking about [expanding the franchise], and talking about it. I just think that one has to go into that world carefully,” director Francis Lawrence told MTV. And while he acknowledges it’s “risky” just to continue the brand without any thought behind the themes, it’s not impossible either.
“You need to make sure that you have something new to say,” Lawrence added. “New characters need to be created that are just as compelling as Katniss. It’s a tricky thing, but I’m definitely open to talking about it, and I think everybody’s thinking about it. Everybody loves the world, and the ideas.”
But first, ‘Mockingjay’ has to be finished, and it would appear that fans of the book might be in for a surprise when they go to cinemas next year. SPOILERS AHEAD. We won’t go into all the twists and shocks coming up in the second half of the story, but essentially, Katniss is eventually given the opportunity to execute President Snow. And that’s where some tweaks might be coming.
“In [Part 1], Katniss is finally taking on the role as the symbol of the revolution and starting to step up and fight back. But the dramatic question is: Will we get Peeta back?…’Part 2′ is: Let’s go get Snow,” Lawrence told Buzzfeed. But it would appear an effort has been made to temper the darkness of the source material.
“For people who don’t know the books, then I don’t want to spoil that for them, but … we wanted to let Katniss arrive [at the demand to kill Snow] a little bit more gradually. What’s happened to Peeta informs that demand,” producer Nina Jacobson explained. And screenwriter Peter Craig suggests there will be some bright spots in the final cinematic chapter.
“We knew it was dark, and we looked at what wasn’t dark, and really paid a lot of attention to it,” he said. “Part of it is there’s a lot of affection between the characters that you can’t always show in moments where they’re fighting in arenas, or when they’re separated from each other. There’s a love story that’s emerging between Katniss and Peeta that is actually really, really sweet at its core. There’s all these characters that have been reunited and genuinely care for each other.”
It sounds like everyone involved is trying to maintain a balancing act between staying true to the books while delivering a blockbuster that isn’t just cloaked in melancholy and sadness (there is some really heavy stuff to come). But can they make it work? Let us know what you think below.