Can the Hunger Games franchise survive without Jennifer Lawrence?

When Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen fired her final arrow in the finale of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, many breathed a sigh of relief. And not just because our intrepid hero had triumphed over the evil forces of President Snow et al in the long-running saga based on Suzanne Collins’ popular young adult books.

Quite frankly, the Hunger Games was on the point of starvation by its final chapter. Even with the ebullient Lawrence giving her all to the end, the franchise had long since passed the point where it kept audience appetites satisfied, a dwindling of interest not helped by the decision to split Collins’ weak final novel, Mockingjay, in two.

And yet it now turns out that Lionsgate, which owns the rights, is planning a series of prequel movies set prior to the events of Everdeen’s one-woman revolution. Studio bigwig Michael Burns has said he hopes to see the saga “live on and on and on” via a run of new episodes that will see the story return to the evil arenas featured in 2012’s The Hunger Games and its 2013 sequel, Catching Fire.

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