Can three books equal four movies? Brace yourselves Hunger Games fans for yet another Twilight parallel is upon us as Lionsgate has opted to turn Suzanne Collin’s three-book series into a four-film franchise. The news first broke over at Deadline in a piece focusing on the franchise’s effect on its production company. In fact, the article’s concentration is so centered on COO Joe Drake’s excitement over the series’ potential “outsized success” for his company, some thought perhaps calling it “a series of four action films” was merely a typo. However, Deadline’s editing team is on point and there’s no error to be had here as Lionsgate confirmed it; The Hunger Games trilogy will be broken up into four films.
This raises a ton of excitement, confusion and, more specifically, two questions: What does this mean for the adaptation process and where will the divide fall? There’s a ton of good that can come from adding a fourth film like alleviating the need to cram tons of information into a tolerable runtime. Then again, you can also look at this from a business standpoint. Could it be that Lionsgate is taking note of the hype surrounding the upcoming production and simply wants to reap the maximum benefits? Clearly, there are quite a few pros and cons that need addressing and to help me do so are Down With The Capitol’s Theresa and Lisa of HungerGamesMovie.org.
Pro: Every aspect of the novels should be included in the films. That way, we do not lose any of the important parts of the story line. Hopefully this ensures they stay true to the book. (Lisa)
Con: If they have the time to work with the book they could change too much of it, driving it away from what makes the story and Katniss unique. I don't want to see more of Katniss in action because that's not who she is, but I'm willing to learn more about others actions. The thing that scares me most about the Deadline article was they called them action movies and if that's the thing Lionsgate see most, then they are perhaps missing the point. These are human stories with action in them. And to change that up and add too much action will do it a disservice. (Theresa)
Pro: This might make it more accessible to newcomers. As someone who’s never read any of the Harry Potter books, but loves the films, there’s quite a bit of new information to digest. While the necessity to keep my brain at full power never turned me off to the series, it certainly wouldn’t have hurt to have a little breathing room before diving into another meticulous element of this unfamiliar territory. (Perri)
Con: Hopefully they don’t drag it out and we do not have to wait years in between whichever novel they decide to split. For example, Breaking Dawn Part 2 comes out a year after Breaking Dawn Part 1. There was also a year and a half wait between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn Part 1. The fan base is still there, however, I believe that some people may have lost interest. Fans want to see their favorite novel come to life on the big screen, and waiting years sometimes isn't the best option. (Lisa)
Pro: When you put down Mockingjay, I’d like to bet you wish there were more. Should the films turn out to be everything we’re dreaming of, and I’ve got high hopes for that, isn’t four better than three? (Perri)
A key to properly adjusting the books to the four-film format will be the positioning of the split. As The Hunger Games and Catching Fire cover the 74th and 75th Hunger Games, respectively, they’re not conducive to stopping and restarting. It’d be a crime to cut in the heat of the action. That leaves us with just one option, Mockingjay.
Lisa: A lot happens in that novel and there are a lot of cliffhangers throughout. They shouldn't have any problem finding a point to split the movie. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is split right down the middle into two movies; hopefully this is done with Mockingjay.
Theresa: The logical spot is in Mockingjay since this is the last book in the series and has a plot that can be added to without altering the original material. All it would take is to open up the story and let us see what is happening around Katniss; showing us the situation in other districts, making the final battle even longer than it is, etc. These items would not alter the base story, and that too would have more time to be told well.
Perri: Mockingjay could actually benefit from the division. As much as I enjoyed the book, there’s a ton of room for growth. Whereas The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are contained within the Hunger Games, Mockingjay is a country-wide story. We’re not just seeing the effects of the girl on fire within the arena, rather throughout all of Panem and that leaves a lot more to be explored.
You’ve heard from us, now what do you think? Do you have a big enough appetite for four Hunger Games films? Is Mockingjay the book to be split in two?