When The Hunger Games novels came out, there were three of them, and they arrived in rapid succession. The first Hunger Games novel arrived in September of 2008, Catching Fire one year later in 2009, and Mockingjay a scant 11 months after that, in August of 2010. A decade later, author Suzanne Collins has released a new book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, set decades before the original trilogy, and already planned as a major motion picture. That has led to fans asking, will there be a sequel to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes? Could this be a new trilogy? Warning: Spoilers for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follow.
It doesn't seem likely that a second novel will follow. Unlike The Hunger Games, Collins doesn't seem to have plotted out further installments. The ending epilogue feels final. Though there are characters whose stories are worth further exploration, the story of this book, and Coriolanus Snow's path to power, feels complete by the novel's end.
If there is a sequel, it seems likely that Collins would jump ahead. If The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes shows anything, it's that there are many tales to tell between what happened in the prequel and Katniss' story. A follow-up featuring one of the Hunger Games between the new novel's 10th annual event and the 74th and 75th annual Hunger Games from the original trilogy makes sense.
That being said, as the book stands, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes could easily be developed into multiple films. The book is divided into three parts, all of which take place over about three months. But while the first two sections, with strategic editing, could become a single two-and-a-half-hour film, the third section feels like a completely different story.
Set in the immediate aftermath of the 10th Hunger Games, the book's final section moves the story to District 12. It focuses on life in the poverty-stricken area, with an emphasis on music. (Seriously, there are enough original songs in the last section to make an entire folk album, if not a full-fledged musical.) There's also a focus on the Mockingjay and the undercurrents of rebellion at work in the far-flung district. There's so much going on; it could easily be a stand-alone movie.
So those awaiting a sequel in hopes of continuing movies may be in luck. While Collins does not appear to have plans for a sequel (at least not yet), The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes could wind up being its own big-screen franchise.