The first novel of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling The Hunger Games trilogy has already been a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and is now getting the theatrical treatment.
Five-time Tony nominee Conor McPherson, behind plays like Girl From the North Country and The Seafarer, is set to adapt the book for the theatre to open on London’s West End in Autumn 2024.
Meanwhile, The Pillowman and 2:22 – A Ghost Story’s Matthew Dunster will direct The Hunger Games, which has the blessing of Collins herself.
The author said: “I’m very excited to be collaborating with the amazing team of Conor McPherson and Matthew Dunster as they bring their dynamic and innovative interpretation of The Hunger Games to the London stage.”
The story takes place in a dystopian future where young tributes are forced to fight each other to the death in an arena before Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence in the movies) emerges as a symbol of rebellion against their oppressive rulers.
The book trilogy has sold over 65 million copies in the US alone, while the four movies have grossed almost $3 billion worldwide.
The adaptation of prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to hit cinemas on November 17.
McPherson said of the upcoming play: “To receive Suzanne Collins’ blessing to adapt The Hunger Games for the stage is both humbling and inspiring. She has created a classic story which continues to resonate now more than ever. In a world where the truth itself seems increasingly up for grabs, The Hunger Games beautifully expresses values of resilience, self-reliance and independent moral inquiry for younger people especially.
“This is turbo charged storytelling of the highest order and I’m hugely excited to bring it to a new generation of theatre goers and to Suzanne Collins’ longstanding and devoted fans.”
Dunster added: “This might be the most exciting work call I’ve ever had. As soon as the producers said the title, I just said ‘Stop! I’m in’. I loved the Lionsgate film and the brutal and emotional power of this dystopian classic. My children had their heads in the books at the time (it’s definitely the only work call of mine they’ve been excited about) so I stole them and I came to appreciate the beauty of Suzanne Collins’ storytelling.
“And then to add one of our greatest living playwrights, Conor McPherson, and experience him honouring the voice of Katniss Everdeen so rigorously has been a great privilege. This is theatre. It’s The Hunger Games in the theatre. And with the world-class team we have put together we aim to do something that is fully immersed in the novel and the film but is uniquely, thrillingly theatrical.”