'The Hunger Games' Sequel 'Catching Fire' set for Thanksgiving 2013

Monday, 08 August 2011 10:58 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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'The Hunger Games' Sequel 'Catching Fire' set for Thanksgiving 2013

Lioinsgate owns the rights to a trilogy of young adult novels by Suzanne Collins, and these novels proved to be crossover bestsellers in multiple demographics, combining dystopian science fiction with an emotionally accessible love triangle.  The first film, The Hunger Games, is in the midst of production, but the studio no doubt wants to make sure this film series gets running in a timely fashion.  Do you think they're just going to sit back and wait to get your sequel moving when they could throw down a release date, letting the world know just how serious they are about this franchise?  Lionsgate has just inevitably done the latter, as Catching Fire has been announced for November 22, 2013.

Here's what Lionsgate officially had to say:

Santa Monica, CA, August 08, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that it will release CATCHING FIRE, the film adaptation of the second book in Suzanne Collins’ runaway bestselling HUNGER GAMES trilogy, on November 22, 2013.  The announcement was made by Joe Drake, co-COO of Lionsgate and President of its Motion Picture Group.  No further details about CATCHING FIRE have been confirmed at this stage.

Said Drake of the date, “The magical thing about the Hunger Games trilogy is that the books have such a vastly broad appeal.  The stories truly offer something for everyone, and the period around the Thanksgiving weekend is such an opportunity for families and friends to make an event of going to the movies.”

THE HUNGER GAMES is currently in production and will be released on March 23, 2012. THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik.  Alli Shearmur, President of Development and Production at Lionsgate, is overseeing the production on behalf of the studio. Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of novels which have developed a global following.

Gary Ross is directing the first film as you read this, with frequent official images reminding the world that The Hunger Games is indeed on the way.  It's unknown whether Ross will return, but it's guaranteed that the cast, which includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, and Woody Harrelson are signed on for the duration.

While the first film focuses on Katniss and Peeta's involvement in the televised survival games, the second will see an increased role for Donald Sutherland's President Snow as the populace of Panem gets rebellious.

Back in June, news emerged that Lionsgate intends to release four films based on Collins' trilogy, which presumably means that the final book, Mockingjay, will be split into two films, much like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before it.  In the meantime, though, The Hunger Games will reach a theater near you on March 23, 2012.

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