Hunger Games Sequel Set For 2013

UPDATE: New pics hit the web

Continuing the trend for studios building a franchise before the first film has even hit cinemas, Lionsgate is following in the footsteps of Sony and Spider-Man by announcing that the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fir**e**, will arrive on screens on November 22, 2013.

That’s the US release, but given that the first movie is set to hit our shores on the same day as America, Games fans can probably take that as the UK date also.

Judging by these new stills, the first instalment is coming along nicely. There's Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth all post-apocalyptic and grimy. Either that or they're at the 'before' part of a shower gel ad.

That first pic of Hutcherson's Peeta Mellark recalls an incident in the book where he saves the starving Kat's life after the death of her father, which will be a key moment in the plot.

On the sequel, Lionsgate co-COO Joe Drake had this to say to Variety: "The magical thing about the Hunger Games trilogy is that the books have such a vastly broad appeal. The stories truly offer something for everyone, and the period around the Thanksgiving weekend is such an opportunity for families and friends to make an event of going to the movies."

It’s no surprise that Lionsgate is feeling bullish about the sequel, though we’re sure a lot of people there have their fingers crossed that the first Games film breaks out like Twilight.

The first movie has been shooting for a while now, with Gary Ross ordering around the likes of Lawrence, Hutcherson, Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. It’ll land March 23 next year. Lay your bets now on whether Ross might stay aboard for another go or if someone else might take over the mantle. Heck, given who is working second unit on the film, maybe… Okay, that's just weird wishful thinking on our part.