Hunger Games Sequel Catching Fire Gets a 2013 Release Date

Catching_Fire300.jpgBig news, Mockingjays -- with their now-filming Hunger Games set for release next March, Lionsgate has gone ahead and staked their flag on November 22, 2013 for the second film in the series, Catching Fire. What does this mean for the as-yet directorless sequel?

Catching Fire is the second book in Suzanne Collins's YA novel trilogy about a teenage girl battling for her life in a dystopian future-set battle to the death. Gary Ross is currently filming the first film in the planned four-film franchise.

With the Harry Potter series over (but clearly still intensely beloved) and the Twilight Saga coming to a close -- Breaking Dawn Part 1 hits theaters this November, while Part 2 will conclude the mega-franchise on November 16, 2012 -- the path is wide open for The Hunger Games to sweep right in and take the YA blockbuster position. Opening in November 2013, the money month formerly occupied by all but one Twilight film and half of the Potter series, in a way establishes Catching Fire/The Hunger Games as the heir apparent to the Potter/Twilight legacies.

The move also potentially opens Catching Fire to awards season consideration. It's wild speculation, but still: If Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 is nominated this year, The Hunger Games might once again find itself following a path cleared by the boy wizard. Of course, it remains to be seen if the first entry in the adaptation series makes as much of an impact at the box office as either of its YA-sourced predecessors.

[via Lionsgate]