This just in: Hollywood likes making money. That's the unavoidable subtext of Lionsgate's decision to take Suzanne Collins' third novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, and split it in two. It's an issue that affects many successful movie franchises based on novels. The stories are set in stone, changing them angers fans, so there are only so many adaptations that can be produced. The only way to make more movies, and by extension heaping truckloads of money, is to expand the material to fit more than one movie per book. See: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2, and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2.
The second film in the franchise, Catching Fire, brings director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) to the series after original Hunger Games director Gary Ross took his leave. It's unclear as to whether Lawrence will return for the third and fourth films, or if Lionsgate will once again cycle out the creative talent behind the camera, a la (once again) the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises.
We haven't read Mockingjay yet at the CraveOnline Film Channel, so we're curious whether the book is sufficiently bifurcated to warrant two motion pictures. If you've read the Suzanne Collins books, and statistically speaking the odds are very good that you have, drop us a line in the comments and share your thoughts on whether the decision is artistically warranted beyond a simple desire to expand the film franchise. Is there a good cliffhanger moment in the middle of the novel, at least?
CraveOnline will be back with more Mockingjay news after we track some jackers.