‘The Hunger Games’ Stage Show Officially Announced For Summer 2016
How will Lionsgate continue on with the massive 'Hunger Games' blockbuster once the franchise comes to an end next year with the release of 'Mockingjay, Part 2'? Well, they're borrowing a page from the Disney playbook and adapting the films, and Suzanne Collins' novels, into a theatrical stage show that will open in London in 2016.
Announced this morning, Lionsgate is teaming with media companies Imagine Nation and Triangular Entertainment to bring the 'Hunger Games' story with live performances in a new theater built specifically for the show next to Wembley Stadium. While we've seen movies like 'The Lion King', 'Mary Poppins' and even 'Rocky' adapted for the stage, there's never been quite anything as expansive as 'The Hunger Games' (well, maybe 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' and we all know how that turned out.)
The new custom-built theater will use "innovative and immersive staging techniques" to bring the world of Panem to a live audience. How exactly that will work is unclear, but one of the companies involved in the production recently working on 'Soldier of Orange,' a Dutch production that has the audience seated in a 360-degree rotating auditorium that moves from set to set as the action progresses.
Lionsgate Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen said that the production will "provide a uniquely immersive experience for fans around the world," which may hint that there are already plans to expand outside of London to an eventual run on Broadway.
The rumors of a live production of 'The Hunger Games' have persisted since the summer as word began to leak that Lionsgate was looking at life post-Katniss. Other events in the works include 'The Hunger Games: The Exhibition' which will kick off in Summer 2015 that will include "costumes, props and other elements" from the films. The studio is also evaluating the possibility of licensing the 'Hunger Games' characters to an existing, or new, theme park. Think along the lines of what Universal Studios is doing with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
And then, comes the obvious. While there are no announced plans yet, you can expect that somewhere down the line there will be a 'Hunger Games' spinoff, prequel or reboot. Lionsgate seems to be modeling their franchise after Harry Potter and if J.K. Rowling's franchise can launch a new trilogy ('Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'), well so can 'The Hunger Games'. So, don't be surprise if in six years, you hear news of 'The Hunger Games: The Beginning' and a brand new series of films.
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1' opens in theaters on November 21.