The Hunger Games Prequel: All We Know So Far
Return To The Hunger Games - Book Cover Reveal
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Scholastic

The Hunger Games Prequel: All We Know So Far

Manon Lamy May 26, 2022

Beware of spoilers for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Two years ago, the world was stuck inside during a worldwide pandemic. However that didn’t stop Suzanne Collins from releasing a prequel to the famous The Hunger Games books. Fans of the series were delighted that they could return to the world of Panem. A world so many had come to love through three books and four movies was finally returning.

Soon after, it was announced that the book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, would be turned into a movie. Fans of the series were so excited, especially because of how well the original The Hunger Games books had been adapted on the screen.

However it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that we got news on the movie. And we will be dissecting it all for you.

What is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes about?

Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Scholastic

If you know that reading is not for you, and prefer waiting for the movie, let me catch you up before the movie. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows Coriolanus Snow, as an 18-year-old. Yes, the same Snow who was the president of Panem in the original Hunger Games trilogy and despised Katniss Everdeen.

However TBSS follows Snow before he becomes the president of Panem and terrorise the whole country.

In the book, we find Snow on the onset of the 10th Hunger Games. The Hunger Games then looked very different from the ones Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark take part in. Snow is assigned as mentor for the District 12 tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. She is a mysterious young lady.

Something happens between Coriolanus Snow and Lucy Gray Baird, but no one can really put their finger on it. Lucy Gray Baird is soon crowned the victor of the games. Snow bids her farewell and returns to his life at the academy. However, Lucy Gray Baird is not out of his life as he would like.

Snow is soon sent to District 12 as a peacekeeper and reunites with Lucy Gray. However, certain events in the books unfold and soon Lucy Gray vanishes. No one knows where, no one knows why. Is she alive? We don’t know.

Some people have speculated that Lucy Gray Baird actually escaped to District 13 and changed her name to Alma Coin, the president of District 13 in the Mockingjay books. Unfortunately no one knows.

What do we know about the movie?

So far we don’t know a lot, but we know when the movie will be released, which is more than we knew for nearly two years. Earlier this month Cinema Con, Lionsgate announced that the movie would hit theatres on November 17 2023. Quite a bit away but a release date is better than nothing.

It was also announced that director Francis Lawrence would be returning to the franchise to direct this new movie. Lawrence directed the last three movies of the series, Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2. Lawrence did a really good on the movies. The cinematography is stunning which gives fans the confidence that the movie will be just as good as the book and as the original movies.

On May 16 2022 another piece of the puzzle of the movie was released. And that was the casting of Coriolanus Snow. People exclusively dropped that Tom Blyth had been cast in the role of the future president of Panem. In the original trilogy it is Donald Sutherland who plays the authoritarian president.

Tom Blyth (L); Donald Sutherland

Tom Blyth is currently playing Billy the Kid but his credits don’t stop there. He played in HBO’s The Gilded Age and Benediction. He also starred in the 2018 British coming-of-age film Scott and Sid. The people at Lionsgate loved his potrayal of Snow and fans agree that he will be the perfect fit for the character.

‘Tom’s performance will both fulfill and disrupt everything you think you know about Coriolanus Snow,’ says producer Nina Jacobson. ‘He’s a tremendous talent who will show why Snow always lands on top.’

News about the rest of the cast has yet to be announced but it should not be much longer. Filming is to begin over the summer in Germany and Poland. Producer Nina Jacobson has expressed casting POC for certain roles, especially Lucy Gray Baird who is described as having darker skin in the books.

No one from the original cast and characters (Katniss or Peeta) is meant to be returning to the movie as the The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set 64 years before Katniss’s time.

We can hardly contain our excitement about any further news on the movie. And if November 2023 seems too far away to wait then pick up your copy of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and get reading!

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Manon is a freelance journalist for Freshered. She joined Freshered in February 2022 where she is still working today. As a freelance journalist she enjoys covering everything from international politics to Formula 1 and travelling. Manon is currently in her final year of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham after returning from a year abroad in Vienna, Austria. She hopes to continue her studies in Journalism.