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#HungerGames Prequels in Development

Variety is reporting Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns has indicated that the studio is exploring developing prequels to its “Hunger Games” franchise.

Burns made the disclosure Tuesday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, saying that the franchise “will live on and on.”

But Burns gave no specific details as to what form that would take.

The fourth film, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” is trailing the other movies in the series at the same point of release, with $227 million at the U.S. box office after three weekends. International grosses have hit nearly $300 million.

Burns noted that the first two films contained arenas — where the 74th and 75th versions of the Hunger Games competitions took place — while the second two did not, and said younger fans missed the arenas in the latter pics.

“If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas,” he added.

Other than Burns’ comments, Lionsgate has not officially announced any spinoffs from the franchise, which is based on Suzanne Collins’ highly successful trilogy of dystopian novels in which adolescent children battle each other to the death in a yearly competition in a post-apocalyptic America dubbed Panem.

Lionsgate agreed to come on board the project in 2009 after producer Nina Jacobson had acquired the movie rights. Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss Everdeen in 2011.

Burns told Variety, “Whatever extensions of ‘The Hunger Games’ brand we pursue, the intent is not to glorify violence by arbitrarily telling arena stories, but to continue Suzanne Collins’s exploration of the concepts of just war theory.”

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