‘The Hunger Games’ Prequel: Everything to Know About the New Flick

The Hunger Games movie franchise is expanding with a prequel called The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents, based on a 2020 book of the same name by Suzanne Collins. While the Lionsgate movie is still some way off, a flurry of casting announcements in May and June, coupled with a surprising icy sneak peek, have stoked excitement for the start of games.

The film adaptation is scheduled to hit theaters in November 2023, roughly eight years after Mockingjay Part 2, and follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) who mentors District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). ). An update: We know Snow from past movies as the ruthless president played by Donald Sutherland. The original films grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, according to Lionsgate. Here’s more on the cast, the plot, and when we’ll make our official return to Panem.

What is The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents about?

Collins’ novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents is set 64 years before the events of the initial trilogy. According to Lionsgate, the film will focus in part on the lead up to the 10th Hunger Games (for reference, Katniss was offered as a tribute for the 74th). Teenage Snow, not yet the dictatorial ruler he would become, senses some opportunity in Baird, the tribute he has given to his mentor.

Here’s the full synopsis from Lionsgate: “Years before he became Panem’s tyrannical president, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family fallen from grace. in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the tribute girl from impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray steals all of Panem’s attention singing defiantly during the harvest ceremony, Snow thinks he could turn the odds in his favor.”

He continues: “Bringing together their instincts for show business and their new political savvy, Snow and Lucy Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird and who is a serpent.”

The fifth film in The Hunger Games franchise will be directed by Francis Lawrence, director of Catching Fire and both Mockingjay films. Michael Lesslie (screenwriter of 2015’s Macbeth and 2016’s Assassin’s Creed) wrote the latest version of the script, working on a draft by Collins and Catching Fire screenwriter Michael Arndt.

The first preview of Songbirds and Snakes

I have to give it to the people behind this clip: it doesn’t give away an iota of the actual movie, but it still sucked me back into the world of The Hunger Games. We see what looks like an animated version of the book cover design. A songbird and a snake are covered in frost, but the ice breaks off, revealing a layer of gold underneath. “You are invited to return to the games,” says the text on the screen. “In 2023, the world will find out who is a songbird and who is a snake.”

Who is in the cast?

The Hunger Games prequel stars Tom Blyth as young Snow and Rachel Zegler as Baird. Blyth plays the title role in Epix’s 2022 western series Billy the Kid and appeared in an episode of the HBO series The Gilded Age. Zegler is known for her starring role in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 adaptation of West Side Story. She is also set to play Snow White in Disney live-action adaptation from the animated classic, and will be in the Shazam sequel, Fury of the Gods.

They will be joined by Josh Andres Rivera, another West Side Story star who plays Sejanus Plinth, Snow’s close friend and fellow tribute mentor, and Hunter Schafer, known for her role on the HBO series Euphoria. Schafer plays Tigris, Snow’s cousin, confidante and constant adviser. Jason Schwartzman, who has appeared in several Wes Anderson films, will play Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, an ancestor of Cesar-Flickerman and host of the 10th Hunger Games.

Other tribute mentors include Lysistrata Vickers (Zoe Renee), Festus Creed (Max Raphael), Felix Ravinstill (Aamer Husain), Arachne Crane (Lilly Cooper), Pliny “Pup” Harrington (Ayomide Adegun), Domita Whimsiwick (Kaitlyn Akinpelumi) and Vipsania. Sickle (Amélie Hoeferle). Another is Clemensia Dovecote, played by Physical and Fuller House actress Ashley Liao, who is friends with Snow. Ms. Marvel actress Laurel Marsden plays Mayfair Lipp, who puts Baird’s name in contention for the games.

Finally, we have more tributes. Jerome Lance will play Marcus from District 2, Knox Gibson will play Bobbin from District 8, Mackenzie Lansing will play Coral from District 4, Sofia Sanchez will play Wovey from District 8, and Nick Benson will play Jessup from District 12 (as Baird).

When will The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents be released?

The movie arrives on November 17, 2023. That means there’s time to pick up a copy of the book if you’re interested, or you can skip training and head straight to Games 10. The odds may always be in your favor.

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