The Hollywood studio that released “The Hunger Games” announced a timetable for the final two films in the series on Tuesday, which has reignited a rumor that’s been circulating around the Internet for more than a month: That the second film, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” will be filmed on Kauai. Media reports say Lionsgate plans to release “Catching Fire” on Nov. 21, 2013, followed by the two films, based on Suzanne Collins’ third novel “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” in 2014 and 2015.
The Hollywood reporter reports that the first “Hunger Games” movie grossed $678.2 million worldwide, becoming an instant big-screen franchise.
Kauai had a banner year for film production in 2010 with the filming of “The Descendants,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Just Go With It” and “Soul Surfer.”
But the Garden Isle is still waiting for its next closeup.
Kauai Film Commissioner Art Umezu says he can’t say whether “Catching Fire” will be filmed there, mainly because he doesn’t know.
But he did escort a Los Angeles-based production team scouting locations around the island a couple of months ago. While they didn’t say what movie they were scouting, numerous reports say Kauai is the top choice for the first sequel. The first “Hunger Games” movie was filmed in North Carolina.
A production of that scale would have a great impact on Kauai’s economy, from providing jobs to workers in the industry to the business generated by visiting film crews for local merchants, restaurants and hotels.
Umezu couldn’t put a price tag on the total economic impact, but he did say that it’s about more than money.
“… More importantly, it just puts a little gold stamp on the island, something to brag about,” he said. “Everybody who’s selling T-shirts, and waiters and waitresses have something to talk about.”