The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the mega-hit The Hunger Games franchise, has cast its two stars.
The prequel, which is taken from the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, is set many years before Jennifer Lawrence’s adventures with Katniss Everdeen and centers on the young Coriolanus Snow, who would go on to become the tyrannical president of Panem.
Production on the prequel is already underway, so much so that producers Lionsgate felt confident enough to present some footage at CinemaCon this summer. (opens in a new tab)but the two stars of the film remained a mystery until now.
Rachel Zegler, who played Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (opens in a new tab) and will play Snow White in Disney’s lavish live-action remake of its animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, will play the role of Lucy Gray Baird, while English actor Tom Blyth, star of the recent remake of Billy The Kid, has been cast as the young Coriolanus Snow.
Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games films (Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2), is returning to direct the prequel.
We are ready to return to the Capitol…
What is the story of The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents?
The official synopsis for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes reads as follows: “Years before he becomes Panem’s tyrannical president, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading bloodline, a family that was once proud and fallen of 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.”
He continues, “But after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by singing defiantly during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks she could turn the odds in her favor. Bringing together their instincts for showmanship and their newfound political savvy, Snow and the Lucy’s race against time to survive will finally reveal who is a songbird and who is a snake.”
It sounds sinister…
When can we expect to see it?
Given that the original quartet made over three billion dollars at the box office, you can see why Lionsgate is itching for a change.
At the moment, the film is scheduled to hit theaters on November 17, 2023, but as with all future release dates, that may change.
There was a time, six years ago in fact, when Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer talked about setting up a writers room to create a series of Hunger Games spinoffs. (opens in a new tab)But nothing came of it.
Perhaps, if this prequel is a success, then the franchise will make the well-trodden move to television. We will watch with interest.