‘Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping’ Film Set for 2026 Release, Francis Lawrence in Talks to Direct

Fresh off the news that Suzanne Collins will drop a new “Hunger Games” book in 2025, Lionsgate will release a film adaptation of that book in 2026. The studio announced Thursday that “The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping” will hit theaters on Nov. 20, 2026, with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson returning to produce.

Francis Lawrence, who directed the last four “Hunger Games” movies (including last year’s prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”), is in talks to direct. He took over for Gary Ross, who directed the first “Hunger Games” movie in 2012, and has steered the franchise since “Catching Fire.”

“Sunrise on the Reaping” will revisit the world of Panem 24 years before the events of “The Hunger Games,” starting on the morning of the reaping of the 50th Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell. The book will be published on March 18, 2025.

In the world of “The Hunger Games,” Haymitch Abernathy won the Second Quarter Quell, played by Woody Harrelson in the first four films. “Sunrise on the Reaping” sounds like it seeks to recount the games Haymitch won and the horrific fallout that ensued, leading him down a path of alcoholism and depression.

Further story details are under wraps. 2023’s “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” adaptation took place 64 years before the events of the first “Hunger Games,” telling the origin story of Coriolanus Snow played by Donald Sutherland in the original films and Tom Blyth in the prequel.

The “Hunger Games” franchise has grossed $3.3 billion in total so far, with “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” scoring $337 million worldwide.

“Suzanne Collins is a master storyteller and our creative north star,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair Adam Fogelson said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more fortunate than to be guided and trusted by a collaborator whose talent and imagination are so consistently brilliant. We know ‘Hunger Games’ fans worldwide will be spellbound by where Suzanne has focused this next extraordinary story. The Second Quarter Quell is legendary and looms large over the history of the Games, even into the time of Katniss Everdeen a quarter-century later. Like fans around the globe, we are eagerly anticipating this exciting return to Panem.”

“From the beginning, Lionsgate has been a wonderful home and partner for the Hunger Games franchise, and I’m very excited to be collaborating with Adam and the team as we bring this next story to theaters in 2026,” said Suzanne Collins.

Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien will oversee the production on behalf of the studio. Patricia Laucella and Phil Strina oversaw the rights for the book for Lionsgate. Collins was represented by Jason Dravis from The Dravis Agency and Diane Golden and Sarah Lerner from the law firm Katz Golden Lerner LLP.

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