The Big Picture
- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes audiences back in time to explore the earlier years of Panem and the Hunger Games.
- The movie focuses on Coriolanus Snow, who is still young and trying to salvage his family’s reputation by becoming a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games.
- The film introduces a new protagonist, Lucy Gray Baird, who has a different approach than Katniss Everdeen and is skilled at manipulating people.
Just over two months remain until audiences can head back to Panem, as The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes November 17 release draws closer. The latest installment in the popular franchise jumps back in time, giving viewers a glimpse into the earlier years of Panem and the Hunger Games. To keep up anticipation, Lionsgate has released a new trailer for the movie.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set 64 years prior to the original The Hunger Games trilogy and delves more into the life of arguably one of the worst of Panem’s citizens — Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth). At just 18-years-old, Coriolanus hasn’t yet become the tyrannical man audiences would come to know decades later. Instead, he is the Snow family’s last hope at salvaging their reputation, which has taken a massive hit in post-war Capitol. So, with the 10th annual Hunger Games on the horizon, Coriolanus has another opportunity to prove his worth as a mentor. What he doesn’t expect is to be paired with District 12’s female tribute, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). As the two prepare and the games eventually begin, young Coriolanus becomes just as captivated by Lucy Gray as the rest of Panem, and the two may yet have a chance to turn the tides in their favor.
The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes is adapted from the prequel novel by Suzanne Collins, the author behind the bestselling trilogy. The book was originally published in May 2020 but had been greenlit as a movie adaptation a month prior to its official release. The screenplay was written by Michael Lesslie from an earlier draft by Michael Arndt, with franchise alum Francis Lawrence returning as director and producer for the prequel. Collins serves as executive producer alongside Jim Miller and Tim Palen, with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson as producers.
Lucy Gray Baird Will Stand Apart from Her ‘Hunger Games’ Predecessor
With The Hunger Games returning in full force, it’s easy to try and draw comparisons between the franchise’s original protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and Zegler’s Lucy Gray. However, like its source material, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will bring plenty of fresh perspective to the screen, including a protagonist who’s quite the opposite from Katniss. During an earlier interview with Empire, Francis Lawrence reiterated this. Where Katniss was more focused on surviving, Lucy Gray is much more bold in her approach, and she knows exactly what she’s doing: “She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people.”
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes releases November 17 in theaters. Watch the new trailer below: