Real or not real? New 'Hunger Games' book, movie prequel will tell Haymitch's story

Let the games begin: Suzanne Collins announced Thursday that a new “Hunger Games” book is on its way, to be followed by a new movie.

The new book, “Sunrise on the Reaping,” will be the fifth installment in the popular dystopian series. Scholastic is set to publish the novel on March 18, 2025.

Collins said she meditated on the writings of David Hume, an 18th century Scottish philosopher known for his skepticism, as she wrote the book.

“With ‘Sunrise on the Reaping,’ I was inspired by David Hume’s idea of implicit submission and, in his words, ‘the easiness with which the many are governed by the few,’” she said in a statement. “The story also lent itself to a deeper dive into the use of propaganda and the power of those who control the narrative. The question ‘Real or not real?’ seems more pressing to me every day.”

Propaganda themes are not uncommon in the “Hunger Games” franchise, which originally followed teenage Katniss Everdeen as she reluctantly led a revolution against the tyrannical Panem government and its president, Coriolanus Snow.

“Sunrise on the Reaping” will take place 24 years before the original series, starting on the morning of the 50th Hunger Games — infamously known as the Second Quarter Quell, which had double the number of tributes and brought Haymitch Abernathy, who would later be Katniss’ mentor, into the spotlight.

Hours after the book announcement, Lionsgate — the studio behind the franchise — said the “Sunrise on the Reaping” adaptation will be released Nov. 20, 2026.

No casting announcements have been shared; director Francis Lawrence is in talks to return to the franchise, according to Lionsgate.

In 2020, Collins released the prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which takes place 64 years before the original series. A movie adaptation starring Rachel Zegler as protagonist Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow was released last November and made more than $300 million globally.

Fans — including Zegler herself, who once tweeted “girls don’t want boys. girls want suzanne collins to release a haymitch abernathy origin trilogy” — have been clamoring for a Haymitch-centric prequel.

On Thursday, the actor quipped: “you’re welcome guys.”

The five-installment “Hungers Games” movie franchise has collectively grossed more than $3.3 billion, Lionsgate said. The first four films starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch.

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