Lionsgate has confirmed ongoing speculation that they will in fact be splitting the final The Hunger Games book by author Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, into two films rather than one.
The current plan per Deadline is to release The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Par 1 on November 21, 2014. The finale, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, will drop almost exactly a year later on November 20, 2015.
Fans have had to wait over a year-and-a-half between The Hunger Games and its sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which will be released in November 2013. With the new more aggressive schedule, the final three The Hunger Games films will make their theatrical debuts one year apart from one another.
What this schedule means for stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, amongst others, remains to be seen. Lawrence in particular is an extremely highly sought after actress and her presence in The Hunger Games franchise and X-Men: First Class prompted some schedule juggling between Fox and Lionsgate.
Is the new trend in Hollywood to milk popular books for extra dollars? Before Mockingjay there was the split of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and The Hobbit into two films for one book. Thus far the strategy has worked and there’s rumblings that it may edge its way into television with the third book translation into Seasons 3 and 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
More on The Hunger Games films from Lionsgate: Philip Seymore Hoffman cast in Catching Fire.