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6/2/2022 • 4 min read
It's been seven years since the last HUNGER GAMES movie. MOCKINGJAY PART 2 closed out the original series in 2015, and ever since then fans have had one question: Will there be a HUNGER GAMES prequel movie? The answer is yes! THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES is coming in 2023, and we've got the first news about the movie here!
In 2020, original author Suzanne Collins published her new novel, "The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes." The book is a prequel novel focused on the rise of President Coriolanus Snow. The novel was written even as Lionsgate, the studio behind the original HUNGER GAMES movie series, was openly planning a prequel movie. It was soon apparent that the novel and movie were coming together at the same time.
The HUNGER GAMES prequel is set in Panem 64 years before the events of the original trilogy. THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES will tell the story of how President Snow came to power in Panem.
Since the movie is based on a book, we could tell you a lot more. Or you can read it and learn virtually everything that will happen in the movie! But if you haven't read yet you probably don't want spoilers from us. We can tell you a few more things, however.
There is! The novel follows Snow as he preps a tribute for the 10th Hunger Games. (For reference, the original books and movies began with the 74th Hunger Games.) Snow has some ideas about how the Games could evolve, and his concepts soon become part of the Games. Snow's rise to power has begun!
The latest news about THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES is the two lead cast members. WEST SIDE STORY star Rachel Zegler plays Lucy Gray Baird, the young woman mentored by Snow. And Tom Blyth, of the "Billy the Kid" TV series on Epix, plays Coriolanus Snow.
So far, those are the only two actors we know to be in the movie, but more reveals will come soon.
We don't know for certain at this point. Her character, Katniss Everdeen, is not in the novel the movie is based on. While there's always the chance that some sort of framing story or flash-forward could be created to feature Lawrence, that doesn't seem likely. Chances are, Jennifer Lawrence will not be in THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES.
Here is something we do know. THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES is being directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed three out of the four original HUNGER GAMES films. So if you liked those, this should be good news for you.
Furthermore, the film was written by Michael Arndt, who helped write THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (under the name Michael deBruyn) and STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.
We don't know yet. The title of the novel and movie mentions "songbirds," because Lucy Gray Baird is a singer. She sings a powerful song during the reaping, and songs are a core part of the novel. Clearly Rachel Zegler can sing, as WEST SIDE STORY demonstrated. While the lyrics for the songs were written by Collins for the novel, someone has to actually write the music — and we don't yet know who that will be. Chances are it will be a big name, and we're as excited as you are to find out who will get the gig.
November 17, 2023. That’s two Novembers from now, so be patient. November is actually the traditional release month for HUNGER GAMES movies. All but the first were released during around Thanksgiving, so it’s no wonder they penciled the new one in at a time that kept the tradition alive.
It’s not quite going to premiere as a Thanksgiving movie, but it’ll definitely still be in theaters as a post-turkey entertainment option for stuffed families everywhere.
Goodness, no. Apparently, a graphics-only teaser for the film was shown at this year’s CinemaCon. No real footage has been revealed, however.
There’s a good reason for that: The movie has only just begun production. They probably couldn't make a trailer right now, even if they wanted to. All of which is say that it'll probably be a while before we see anything. In the meantime, if you see something that purports to be a BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES trailer, it is likely fan-made.
All images courtesy of Lionsgate and Scholastic.
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