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Jennifer Lawrence says she'd play Katniss Everdeen again, but 'Hunger Games' producers explain why 'her story is complete'

Producer Nina Jacobson and director-producer Francis Lawrence voice doubts that author Suzanne Collins will be expanding Katniss's mythology.

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Jennifer Lawrence offered a surprisingly emphatic response when asked recently if she would return to her breakout role of Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence, now 33, starred as the character in four hit Hunger Games films between 2012 and 2015.

“Oh, my god — totally!” the Oscar winner told Variety in June while promoting her R-rated comedy No Hard Feelings.

“If Katniss ever could come back into my life, 100%.”

For all of Lawrence’s star power, though, that doesn’t mean her excitement about reprising Katniss will translate into a new sequel.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1, Jennifer Lawrence, 2014. ph: Murray Close/©Lionsgate/courtesy Everett Collection
Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I. (Murray Close/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection)

First, the architects of the film series, Nina Jacobson and Francis Lawrence, tell Yahoo Entertainment in a new interview, Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins would have to pen a new novel as a follow-up to her original 2008-10 trilogy (the last, Mockingjay, was split into two films released in 2014 and 2015). And that’s a big “if.”

“If Suzanne has something to say, then she’ll write a book about it,” Jacobson says while promoting teh upcoming prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, based on a 2020 spinoff novel by Collins.

“Honestly, as much as I love Katniss, I think her story is complete. And I think that Suzanne feels that her story is complete. But if that changes, and Suzanne has something she wants to say, and it involves Katniss, then I would be thrilled. But really any chance to be back in this world, and lead with Francis and Suzanne, I would take regardless of who it was about.”

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 10:  (L-R) Jon Kilik, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson attend 'The Hunger Games: Sinsajo - Part 2' photocall at Villa Magna Hotel on November 10, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage)
Jon Kilik, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson attend The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II photocall on Nov. 10, 2015 in Madrid. (Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage)

Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three Hunger Games with Jennifer Lawrence and returned to helm Songbirds & Snakes, agrees — while still leaving the door open a crack.

“What I’ve always loved is that Suzanne usually writes these things because she has a thematic idea she wants to explore,” he says. “So I think that if for whatever reason she had some thematic idea that made sense to tell another Katniss story, I’d be in, and then I’m sure Jen would be in.

“But it really all comes from theme and idea, and Suzanne.”

Jacobson and (Francis) Lawrence’s reservations make sense.

Not only did The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part II tie up Katniss’s arc with a, um, bow (she ends Panem’s eponymous annual children’s bloodsport by assassinating President Coin and watching a mob take care of President Snow before earning her freedom), the film also flashed forward to show her living happily, peacefully ever after with husband Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and their two children in her native District 12.

Then again, this is Hollywood — a world where no sequel nor legacy character’s return can ever, ever be counted out.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes opens Nov. 17.