Hunger Games

If you loved Haymitch in the original Hunger Games films, get excited for a new prequel focusing on a young version of his character. Suzanne Collins is releasing another book, The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping, with a movie adaptation coming to theaters in 2026. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming book and movie.

Hunger Games

Unlike *The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes*, which takes place 64 years before the events of the original trilogy, *The Sunrise on the Reaping* will revisit Panem 24 years before *The Hunger Games*. It will center on the 50th Hunger Games (the Second Quarter Quell), which saw District 12’s Haymitch Abernathy crowned as the winner.

 

“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…,” Collins wrote 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.”

 

Adding to the excitement, Lionsgate has announced plans to bring the prequel to theaters. Francis Lawrence, the director behind the last four Hunger Games movies, is in talks to return for this project. “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,” Collins continued.

 

More than 100 million copies of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series have been sold, while the film adaptations have grossed over $3.3 billion worldwide. The star-studded cast of the films has included Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Viola Davis, Jason Schwartzman, and Peter Dinklage.

 

Suzanne Collins’ prequel, The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping, is set to be released on March 18, 2025, in print, digital, and audio formats in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The film adaptation will hit theaters on November 20, 2026, though the cast has yet to be announced.

Hunger Games

What Is Sunrise on the Reaping* About

The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping* is set 24 years before the events of the original films starring Jennifer Lawrence. The story begins on the morning of the reaping for the 50th Hunger Games, known as the Second Quarter Quell, and will follow the events leading up to Haymitch Abernathy’s victory. This particular Games is notable because Haymitch, who later mentors Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, becomes one of the few victors from District 12, alongside Lucy Gray Baird from *The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes*.

 

Suzanne Collins has cited David Hume’s idea of implicit submission as an inspiration for the novel, exploring themes of propaganda and narrative control. “The question ‘Real or not real?’ seems more pressing to me every day,” Collins explained in her statement.

 

 Excitement for the Film
Lionsgate has announced plans to bring this compelling prequel to theaters. Francis Lawrence, who directed the last four Hunger Games movies, is in talks to return for this project. Collins expressed her enthusiasm: “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.”

How Did Haymitch Win The 50th Hunger Games?

Haymitch’s victory in the 50th Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell, is detailed in *Catching Fire*, though much of it was left out of the film adaptation. Here’s how it happened:

 

At 16, Haymitch was reaped for the Second Quarter Quell alongside District 12’s Maysilee Donner. The two formed an alliance and stuck together until only five tributes remained. Maysilee decided to go her own way to avoid the inevitable conflict of having to kill each other, but she was soon attacked and killed by bird-mutts. Haymitch stayed with her, holding her hand as she died.

 

Haymitch ultimately won the 50th Hunger Games by using his wits and the environment to his advantage. He discovered the force field at the edge of the arena and cleverly used it to kill the District 1 tribute. When she threw her axe at him, he ducked, and the axe was deflected by the force field, striking her instead.

 

Haymitch’s victory is not just a testament to his survival skills but also to his ability to outthink his opponents, setting the stage for his role as a mentor to Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in the original Hunger Games trilogy.

 

What Is Sunrise on the Reaping About?

The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping is set 40 years after Suzanne Collins’ 2019 novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The earlier novel explores the origin story of President Coriolanus Snow and was adapted into a film in 2023, starring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler. That story follows a young Snow before his rise to power as he mentors Lucy Gray Baird, a District 12 tribute, and navigates his feelings for her alongside his growing ambition.

 

Sunrise on the Reaping takes place 24 years before the original Hunger Games series. It begins on the morning of the reaping for the 50th Hunger Games and focuses on Haymitch Abernathy’s journey to victory. In this prequel, viewers will likely see an older, more powerful Coriolanus Snow. Following Haymitch’s win, Snow orders the execution of Haymitch’s mother, younger brother, and girlfriend, further showcasing his ruthless nature.

 

Upcoming Releases

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping will be released on March 18, 2025, in print, digital, and audio formats across the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The film adaptation is set to hit theaters on November 20, 2026, with the cast yet to be announced. Lionsgate has announced that Francis Lawrence, who directed the previous Hunger Games films, is in talks to return for this project.

 

Hunger Games 

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