‘The Hunger Games: Sunrise On The Reaping’: Lionsgate Sets Fall 2026 Release For New Prequel, Director Francis Lawrence In Talks To Return

Francis Lawrence, Lionsgate, Movies, News, The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

It stands to reason that with announcement of another Hunger Games novel by Suzanne Collins, due out on March 18, 2025, Lionsgate would greenlight another movie. The big screen take of the next prequel, The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping, will hit screens on Nov. 20, 2026 and the franchise filmmaker of the last four movies, Francis Lawrence, is in talks to return to direct.

In addition Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson, alongside her producing partner Brad Simpson, is returning to produce the next prequel under their Color Force banner. It reps Color Force’s sixth outing since bringing the series to Lionsgate in 2012.

While the previous prequel, The Hungers: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, was set 64 years before the events of the original trilogy, The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping is set 24 years before that trio of Jennifer Lawrence films in the world of Panem, commencing on the morning of the reaping of the 50th Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell. Those games are an important event in the canon as the victor was Haymitch Abernathy, the only winner from District 12 before Lawrence’ Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark’s tie win. Haymitch continues on to become a mentor, a character in the original movies played by Woody Harrelson.

In a statement, Collins, said, “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…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.”

The author adds, “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.”

“Suzanne Collins is a master storyteller and our creative north star,” beamed Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair Adam Fogelson. “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.”

Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien will oversee the production on behalf of Lionsgate. 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. Sunrise on the Reaping will be published by Scholastic simultaneously in print, digital, and audio formats in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand on March 18, 2025.

The only other wide release on Nov. 20, 2026 is an untitled Warner Bros/New Line movie.

The Hunger Games books have sold more than 100M copies around the globe in print and digital with foreign publishing rights sold in 54 languages. All four movies have reaped more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office. Lionsgate has branched out the property to include theme park attractions, experiences, and live events, including The World of the Hunger Games at the Motiongate Dubai theme park and a major stage production set to debut in London from Olivier Award-winning playwright Conor McPherson (“Girl from the North Country”) and directed by Matthew Dunster (“2:22—A Ghost Story,” “Hangmen,” “The Pillowman”).

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