- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel set 64 years before the events of the original series, featuring a younger Coriolanus Snow.
- Fans will get to see a very different side of Panem and Snow, as he is portrayed as less self-assured and still developing his tyrannical tendencies.
- The cast includes talented actors such as Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, and Jason Schwartzman, generating high anticipation for the film’s release in November 2023.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will bring audiences face-to-face with a younger Coriolanus Snow when the Hunger Games prequel arrives in November 2023 — and there’s already a great deal to digest when it comes to the man who will become Panem’s President. Set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. Young Snow, played now by Tom Blyth, will be taking his first steps on the path to becoming a tyrant, starting with mentoring District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler).
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set during the 10th Hunger Games, over half a century before Katniss Everdeen was called up to represent District 12 in the deadly contest. Fans of the Hunger Games franchise will find themselves in a very different Panem than the one they know, and will be watching a very different Coriolanus Snow, one nowhere near as self-assured, nor has the same unwavering faith in Panem’s social order. With a cast that includes Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, and Viola Davis, anticipation for the arrival of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes couldn’t be higher.
Latest Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes News
The latest news for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes came in September 2023 with the release of the second trailer. The new trailer for The Hunger Games prequel gave the clearest look yet at the Panem of Snow’s youth. Not only this, but it also clarified a lot of finer points of the narrative. It made it clear that a lot of time would be dedicated to the development of the Hunger Games from the point-of-view of the Capitol, including how mentors are trained.
While Tom Blyth’s young Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird were of course the key focus of the 3:45 Hunger Games prequel trailer, the voiceover’s from Violas Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul were equally notable. It’s already clear that Davis’s performance as the head gamemaker will be chilling, and the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes trailer sets her up as an intimidating presence — even for Coriolanus Snow.
The Hunger Games: Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Release Date
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie release date is November 17, 2023. Lionsgate appeared to find a comfortable home for the Hunger Games franchise on the release calendar, with the final three movies all arriving in late November on their respective release years. They’ve gone for the same window with The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which means the prequel should net a strong box office return just before the holiday season.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Cast
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes cast is filled with talent. Tom Blyth (Benediction) will be playing the young Coriolanus Snow, with Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) co-starring as District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird. The doomed pair is joined by Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) as Tigris Snow, Coriolanus’ cousin and Jason Schwartzman as Hunger Games broadcast host Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman — an ancestor of Ceasar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) from The Hunger Games.
The cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is extensive, however. There are dozens of cast members in all manner of roles, just as with the original Hunger Games movies. Notable confirmed cast members in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes include:
- Peter Dinklage as Hunger Games designer Cas Highbottom.
- Burn Gorman as Commander Hoff, a high-ranking peacekeeper in District 12.
- Ashley Liao as Snow’s fellow tribute mentor Clemensia Dovecote.
- Max Raphael as Festus Creed, another tribute mentor.
- Zone Renée as Lysistrata Vickers, another mentor in Snow’s class.
- Nick Benson as the male District 12 tribute Jessup.
- Isobel Jesper Jones as Mayfair Lip, who’s the daughter of District 12’s mayor.
- George Somner as District 12 citizen Spruce.
- Dakota Shapiro as Billy Taupe, a member of Lucy Gray Baird’s traveling band and love interest.
The full cast list for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is extensive, however. There are dozens of cast members in a variety of small roles, including a pair of tributes from each district to face off against Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird in the 10th annual Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games Prequel Movie Story Details
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. However, much like The Hungers Games movies, there will likely be a few changes to the finer points of the story when adapting it for the screen. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes plot begins with Snow living with his cousin Tigris and being tasked as a mentor in the Hunger Games. He’s selected to mentor the tribute from District 12 Lucy Gray Baird — a charismatic singer who doesn’t present herself as a physical threat, but she must work with Snow if she wants a chance to stay alive.
The official plot synopsis for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes released by Lionsgate gives a concise overview of the premise:
With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girls 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 favor. 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.
While the action will be focused on the events of the games, thematically the movie’s story will explore how society came to be so accepting of the Hunger Games by the point Katniss Everdeen led a revolution. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes news has also included some comments from director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson. Both said that the Hunger Games prequel will feel very different from the original trilogy — “It’s a new story, with new ground and new characters. We were able to create a completely different visual language… one that is still recognizably Panem, but also different and fresh.” (via Deadline).
Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Trailer
The trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes have been incredibly effective at both tying the new movie to the original franchise, and establishing how it will be different. The most recent trailer, released by Lionsgate in September 2023, outlined several key elements of the story of the Hunger Games prequel. The relationship between Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth’s Coriolanus Snow has been a key focus. There’s clear romantic undertones, thought Lucy’s comment of “you’re a good man, Coriolanus Snow” is almost shocking to hear given how tyrannical he will become by the time of The Hunger Games.
Peter Dinklage’s Cas Hightbottom also featured in the 3:45 trailer, and through him the differences between the Panem of The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes and The Hunger Games are perhaps made clearest. “Your role is to turn these children into spectacles, not survivors” he chillingly tells Snow and the other mentors in the Hunger Games prequel trailer.
The fact they need to be told shows that, at the point of the 10th Hunger Games, Panem clearly hasn’t come to accept the games as the pageantry bonanza of carnival-like frivolity for those not participating they’ve become by the time of The Hunger Games. It’s clear that when the release date for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives in December audiences will be getting a deeper exploration of the morality behind the Hunger Games than ever before.
Will There Be More Hunger Games Stories?
Whether there will be more Hunger Games novels to use as source material for movies is up to writer Suzanne Collins. She has more than 75 years of history only hinted at in the existing stories in which to set new ones. If she does pen more novels or short stories set in the world of Panem, Lionsgate will want the chance to adapt them and continue the success of the Hunger Games franchise. Lionsgate’s decision will hinge on the success of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. If the studio can capture the same level of interest for Snow and Lucy as they did for Katniss, they will want to expand the movie universe.