Suzanne Collins Is Returning to Panem for Another Hunger Games Prequel Novel

There are always, it seems, more terrible stories to uncover in Panem, the fictional world Suzanne Collins created in the bestselling series that began with 2008’s The Hunger Games. The series seemed over when Mockingjay came out in 2010, but then Collins surprised readers with the announcement of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which arrived in 2020.

And she’s going back to the arena again. The Associated Press has the announcement that Sunrise on the Reaping is due next year. This book falls between the two known parts of the series’ timeline, 40 years after Songbirds and 24 years before The Hunger Games. It’s set as the reaping begins for the 50th Games, which is also the second Quarter Quell.

If you remember Catching Fire, yes, that means it’s like Katniss’s second trip to the arena, and had a super-fun special twist. (The Quells celebrate the way the Capitol crushed the Districts’ rebellion.) For this go-round, there were twice as many tributes. And a familiar name was the victor of this particular set of Games: Haymitch Abernathy, who was played by Woody Harrelson in the films. In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta watch a tape of Haymitch’s year, and it’s not pretty. But it does act as a pretty solid outline for what to expect from the new book.

Sunrise on the Reaping draws on a new, somewhat surprising source: the work of Scottish philosopher David Hume. In a statement, Collins said, “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.”

It feels inevitable that this novel will also become a movie, but no film rights have been announced. Sunrise on the Reaping will be on shelves March 18, 2025.

UPDATE: It took no time at all for the inevitable film to be announced. Variety reports that Lionsgate is producing an adaptation of Sunrise on the Reaping, which is scheduled to premiere on November 20, 2026. Francis Lawrence, who directed every Games film except the first one, is in talks to direct this one as well.

So… who’s your pick to play young Haymitch? icon-paragraph-end

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