New ‘Hunger Games’ movie announced and it’s the one fans have been waiting for

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy in "The Hunger Games"
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

It’s been quite a day for fans of “The Hunger Games” franchise. First, a new novel in the popular young adult fiction series was announced, and then a movie adaption of that fifth book was confirmed shortly after. The odds are very much in this fanbase's favor right now. 

“Sunrise on the Reaping” by author Suzanne Collins will launch in novel form on March 18, 2025, and the movie version will follow some 20 months later as it’s scheduled to hit theaters on November 20, 2026. Naturally, the movie will adopt the same title as its source material, and will be released as "The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping."

Beyond a single social media post confirming the big screen adaptation and its release date, nothing else is known about “The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping” movie. There’s no cast information, and it hasn’t been announced if longtime franchise helmer Francis Lawrence will return in the director's chair (though based on a 2023 interview with Variety, it would appear very likely). 

“The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping” — here’s what we know

There's little known about the movie, but we have a few extra tidbits regarding the novel, and we can logically assume these details will carry over. According to publisher Scholastic, “Sunrise on the Reaping will revisit the world of Panem twenty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Fiftieth Hunger Games, also known as the Second Quarter Quell.”

Dedicated fans will know that the 50th Hunger Games was won by a certain Haymitch Abernathy (portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the movies), which suggests the gruff District 12 resident (and mentor to Katniss Everdeen) could be the story's star. Fans have been requesting a book/movie focused on Haymitch’s games for years. However, “Catching Fire” does explain how he managed to win his games, which could mean that Collins opts to tell the story from a different perspective instead. 

Either way, a return to Panem will be greatly welcomed by fans and general audiences alike. The most recent movie in the franchise, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbird & Snakes”, was a prequel that explored the early years of ruthless ruler President Snow (played by Tom Blyth), and he could also feature in “Sunrise on the Reaping” as the story will be set during his tyrannical reign. Whether Blyth would return for the next "Hunger Games" movie hasn’t been confirmed at this stage. 

Expect further details to trickle out over the month ahead, though it’s likely that casting details won’t be formally announced until the novel has been released to ensure eager readers aren’t spoiled of any surprises. The movie’s production date may be scheduled for after March 2025 for that same reason. 

If this new trip to the dystopian world of Panem has you in the mood to rewatch the previous entries in the franchise, here's how to watch “The Hunger Games” movies

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.