Netflix Adds All 4 Movies in Wildly Popular Dystopian Franchise

Netflix just picked up all four films in a beloved franchise – The Hunger Games. On Wednesday, Netflix announced the new addition to its catalog with all the fanfare of the Capitol on social media. Many fans responded that they were ready to binge-watch the series all over again – especially with a new installment coming later this year.

The Hunger Games film franchise joined Netflix on the 11th anniversary of the first film's theatrical release. According to Netflix, this was an intentional celebration, so the movies will only be available for 31 days. It's unclear why such a short licensing agreement was struck, but for many commenters, that's plenty of time to watch this dystopian drama. Aside from Netflix, there is no other subscription-based streamer hosting this franchise, so fans' only other option would be to rent or purchase it on a VOD store.

The Hunger Games is an adaptation of Suzanne Collins' trilogy of science fiction novels by the same name. They are set in a future where North America has been divided into 13 "districts" under the control of one "Capitol," and people throughout the country are at their unelected leaders' mercy. In order to exert social control, the Capitol holds a violent battle royale called "The Hunger Games" every year, pitting children from each district against each other in a televised fight to the death.

Collins novels were published every year from 2008 to 2010, and were compared to other young-adult-oriented books of the time including Harry Potter and Twilight. Certainly, the film adaptations seemed to follow in the footsteps of those other two franchises, including the division of the final book into two movies. Collins released a prequel novel called A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in 2020, and it is now being adapted into a film as well.

The Hunger Games films star Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. Other stars include Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow and Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, among others. The first movie was directed by Gary Ross while the others were directed by Francis Lawrence.

Lawrence returned as the director of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which premieres on Nov. 17, 2023. It is a prequel centering around a younger version of Snow, who will be played by Tom Blyth. The only other returning character confirmed so far is Tigris Snow, who will now be played by Hunter Schafer. Other cast members includ Rachel Zegler, Jason Schwartzman and Peter Dinklage.

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 are streaming now on Netflix, but only for this month. After that they will be available on VOD stores for rental or purchase. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes premieres on Nov. 17, 2023, only in theaters.