Where the Harry Potter series started off in a brightly lit world of wonder and whimsy before descending into a world of warfare and washed-out color, The Hunger Games starts off gritty and violent and goes from there. As written, Suzanne Collins’ two sequels — Mockingjay in particular, with its many scenes of all-out combat — don’t shy away from building upon the brutality established in the first book.
Understandably, many fans are wondering whether this could mean that the inevitable movie adaptations might garner an R rating from the MPAA. But according to producer Nina Jacobson, it’s pretty much out of the question that any subsequent films would receive anything harsher than the PG-13 given to The Hunger Games. “Suzanne wrote these books for young people to be able to read them and discuss them and engage with them,” says Jacobson, “and we would never make a version of the movies where they couldn’t participate in. They were the ones that started all of it and I think they deserve to have the movie be made for them to be able to see.”
However, rumors that Lionsgate may decide to take a page out of the book of the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises and split the finale, Mockingjay, into two separate films have a greater likelihood of being accurate. The studio and filmmakers are still considering the possibility. “There’s a whole movie to be made before we really know what we would do next,” says Jacobson. “But as far as the third book, I think that’s still a ‘to-be-determined.’”
In other words, there’s a chance that we will be seeing Mockingjay — Part I and Mockingjay — Part 2, but very little that either would be rated anything but PG-13.