The author of the multimillion-selling Hunger Games trilogy has announced she is working on a prequel for release next year.
Suzanne Collins will bring readers back to the country of Panem in the new book, which will be set 64 years before the events of the original.
It is currently untitled, but Collins has said she is aiming for the story to be out on 19 May 2020.
The 56-year-old author said: “With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival.
“The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days – as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet – provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”
In the original trilogy, which was adapted into a billion-dollar film franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, Panem was a dystopian land that played host to the titular televised competition in which youngsters were pitted against one another in a fight to the death.
Lawrence played the role of heroine Katniss Everdeen, who emerges from a poor coal-mining district to be crowned champion of the Hunger Games, before leading a rebellion against the wealthy and oppressive government that runs the violent competition from the Capitol.
Fans followed her journey from the release of The Hunger Games in 2008 to the third and final book Mockingjay in 2010, with the Hollywood series later spread across four films between 2012 and 2015.
The books have sold more than 100 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages, while the films have grossed just shy of £2.38bn.
Before the prequel was announced, Michael Burns, vice chairman of film studio Lionsgate, which produced the big screen adaptations, revealed that Collins had been sharing details about what would be her next book.
In a statement, he said: “As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
The studio has not revealed whether it has already obtained the film rights for the next book.