“Hunger Games” Sequel Already Scheduled, “Apes” Sequel Taking Shape

"The Hunger Games" saga has already your 2013 Thanksgiving planned, while a second helping of "Apes" hopes to evoke one of Stanley Kubrick's later (and lesser) films.

With the release of "The Hunger Games" not due for until March 12, the studio has already announced that the sequel, "Catching Fire," will drop Nov. 22, 2013.

“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,” said Lionsgate co-COO Joe Drake in a press release.

Ah--so the movie about teenagers forced into to-death-tournaments is a family film! Got it.

Meanwhile, "Rise of the Apes" director Rupert Wyatt has taken time off from his chest-thumping to talk about his ideas for a sequel to his reboot of the reboot of a franchise whose original incarnation already had three installments.

"There’s so much we could do… The ideas I’ve had are all sorts of things, ranging from 'Full Metal Jacket' with apes… you could start this story again eight years from where we left off, the next generation of apes, those that have come from our protagonists, perhaps going in to a conflict with humans and showing real fear, in the same way as going into war for young soldiers in this day and age, telling their story, Wyatt told Bleeding Cool. "Or how apes are taking over cities, and being moved into human environments and having to interact with them and deal with things that are part of our culture and understand and evolve through them. Spies that are in the employ of the apes, working against humans and humans maybe existing underground, because that’s a way they can avoid the virus, coming up above ground wearing gas masks, and maybe that’s what dehumanizes them.”

Clearly he began thinking about this long before his film raked in $54 million on its opening weekend.

Peter Jackson took a huge risk a decade when he decided to film all three installments of "Lord of the Rings" at once, figuring it would be the cheapest way to get the films made. It was a bold roll of the dice that paid off huge. Now it seems that every big-budget film comes pre-baked as part of a trilogy (or longer). Which is fine, we get it, it's a business, and the cheapest way to get these things made is to plan ahead. But what's troublesome is how presumptuous everybody seems to be these days about the inevitability of the next film. The enthusiasm is great, but let's all remember what happened to "Green Lantern"--his utter failure needn't be in vein.

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