Calling all tributes. You’ve been summoned to compete in the 10th Hunger Games. Yes, you read that correctly. The Hunger Games is returning to the movies with an adaptation of the book prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Are you ready to return to Panem? Here’s what you should know.
What is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?
It’s been a few years between games, so you’re forgiven if you’re not up to date with all the happenings in The Hunger Games world. We never left, however, so will happily fill you in.
In 2020, The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins released a new prequel to the series titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The book followed everyone’s favourite character: Coriolanus Snow.
Not the character you were expecting to get the prequel treatment, right?
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes drops us into the year of the 10th Hunger Games, where a young Coriolanus is chosen as a mentor for District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird.
Throughout the novel, we see the evolution of many of the systems that become standard in the Hunger Games, as well as the beginnings of Coriolanus’ rise to power.
The book debuted to mixed, but generally favourable reactions, and it didn’t take long for a movie to be greenlit.
What do we know about the movie?
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is being brought to us by Lionsgate, the same studio behind all four The Hunger Games movies.
As expected, the movie will seemingly follow the storyline of the book pretty closely. Here’s a plot synopsis:
Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol.
With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favour.
Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.
Who has been cast?
The Hunger Games movies made household names of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, but with this movie being set 60 years before theirs, it’s obvious we won’t be seeing the trio return.
So who is in the spotlight?
Playing the lead role of Coriolanus Snow (a role made famous by Donald Sutherland) is Tom Blyth, who is known for his work on The Gilded Age and Billy The Kid.
In the equally important role of Lucy Gray is Rachel Zegler, who recently won a Golden Globe for her role in West Side Story.
Another star to add to the list is Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer, who will be playing Snow’s cousin Tigris, who you may remember from Mockingjay.
We also have a set of relative newbies Josh Andrès Rivera (Sejanus Plinth), Nick Benson (Jessup), Lauren Marsden (Mayfair Lipp), Lilly Cooper (Arachne Crane), Luna Steeples (Dill), Hiroki Berrecloth (Treech), Jerome Lance (Marcus), Ashley Liao (Clemensia Dovecote), Knox Gibson (Bobbin), Mackenzie Lansing (Coral) and Aamer Husain (Felix Ravinstill).
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be directed by Francis Lawrence who gave us the latter three Hunger Games films.
Hunger Games prequel trailer
While we may not have a trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes just yet, we do have an eerie movie reveal clip to watch.
The teaser simply reads, “the world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake”.
When is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes being released?
There’s still a while to go before we see The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on screen. It’s currently scheduled for release in Australia on November 16, 2023.
That gives you plenty of time to catch up on the 500-page prequel novel or to rewatch the Hunger Games movies on repeat.
While you wait, you can check out these other highly-anticipated movies releasing in 2022.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.