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Hunger Games prequel set 64 years before the first book coming in 2020

We volunteer as tributes to read the new tale set six decades before the first book.

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The new Hunger Games book won't be about heroine Katniss Everdeen, played in the movies by Jennifer Lawrence.

Lionsgate

The Hunger Games will return next year as a prequel to the popular books and movies. Author Suzanne Collins revealed Monday that she's writing a new book that takes place 64 years before the events of the first book in the series, and it's set for release on May 19, 2020

"With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival," Collins said in a statement. "The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days -- as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet -- provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity."

The original Hunger Games books (and movies) are set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia where young people are forced to fight and kill each other to survive, on live television. The first three Hunger Games books -- The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and "Mockingjay" -- have sold more than 100 million copies

The new book is set long before we see Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence in the successful franchise) fight for her life, and for freedom for all villages forced to volunteer their children to fight to the death. While there are no official details of what or who will be featured in the prequel, it could be more about how The Hunger Games themselves came to be.

Lionsgate released the four Hunger Games movies from 2012 to 2015, and it looks like the studio would be interested in seeing this prequel on the big screen.

"As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne's next book to be published," Lionsgate Shairman Joe Drake said on Monday. "We've been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie."

Lionsgate didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.