All posts tagged: Lucy Gray Baird

The Real Legacy of the ‘Hunger Games’ Franchise

The Real Legacy of the ‘Hunger Games’ Franchise

Hollywood was never going to stop making more Hunger Games movies. Based on Suzanne Collins’s best-selling dystopian young-adult novels, the first four films released from 2012 to 2015 collectively grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide. They dominated pop culture: Jennifer Lawrence became a bona fide movie star; videos on how to replicate her character’s side braid flooded the internet; the phrase hunger games became shorthand for any kind of intense competition. We saw a wave of copycat franchises—Divergent, The Maze Runner, and The Mortal Instruments, among many, many others—that never reached The Hunger Games level of success. Yet the prequel hitting theaters this weekend, titled The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is no mere franchise extension. Yes, it tells the origin story of the series’ villain—President Coriolanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in the original films—and yes, it takes viewers back to Panem, the oppressive nation that forces children to slaughter one another in annual televised battle royales, but it also treads fresh territory. The film poses a question the previous Hunger Games …