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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: The New Hunger Games Movie Is Here

6/2/2022 • 4 min read

(Updated 09/20/2023)The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes | Cinemark

It's been eight years since the last HUNGER GAMES movie. MOCKINGJAY PART 2 closed out the original series in 2015, and ever since then fans have had one question: Will there be a HUNGER GAMES prequel movie? The answer is yes! THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES is coming this year, and we've got the new trailer here!

The Story Behind The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

In 2020, original author Suzanne Collins published her new novel, "The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes." The book is a prequel novel focused on the rise of President Coriolanus Snow. The novel was written even as Lionsgate, the studio behind the original HUNGER GAMES movie series, was openly planning a prequel movie. It was soon apparent that the novel and movie were coming together at the same time.

What Is The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes About?

The HUNGER GAMES prequel is set in Panem 64 years before the events of the original trilogy. THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES will tell the story of how President Snow came to power in Panem, and how the Hunger Games evolved into a spectacular but evil television extravaganza.

Since the movie is based on a book, we could tell you a lot more. Or you can read it and learn virtually everything that will happen in the movie! But if you haven't read the book yet, you probably don't want spoilers from us. We can tell you a few more things, however.

Is There a Hunger Games in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

There is! The novel follows Snow as he preps a tribute for the 10th Hunger Games. (For reference, the original books and movies began with the 74th Hunger Games.) Snow has some ideas about how the Games could evolve, and his concepts soon become part of the Games. Snow's rise to power has begun!

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

When Does The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Come Out?

The new HUNGER GAMES movie will open exclusively in movie theatres on November 17. November has historically been the release month for HUNGER GAMES movies. All but the first were released around Thanksgiving. So the new one will keep the tradition alive.

It’s not quite going to premiere as a Thanksgiving movie, but it’ll definitely still be in theaters as a post-turkey entertainment option for stuffed families everywhere.

Watch the New Trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes


What a huge trailer! Clearly, everyone involved is working to up the ante on the movie series while also depicting a much earlier version of the Games. And Viola Davis, wow. She is going at it!

Who Is In The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes?

WEST SIDE STORY star Rachel Zegler plays Lucy Gray Baird, the young woman mentored by Snow. And Tom Blyth, of the "Billy the Kid" TV series on Epix, plays Coriolanus Snow.

Jason Schwartzman plays Hunger Games TV host Lucky Flickerman, who is an ancestor of Caesar Flickerman, played by Stanley Tucci in the previous movies. The cast also features Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, and Viola Davis, many of whom play characters introduced in the first trailer and shown in more detail in the new trailer above.

Is Jennifer Lawrence in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

We don't know for certain at this point. Her character, Katniss Everdeen, is not in the novel the movie is based on. While there's always the chance that some sort of framing story or flash-forward could be created to feature Lawrence, that doesn't seem likely. Chances are, Jennifer Lawrence will not be in THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES.

Who Made The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes?

Here is something we do know. THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES is being directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed three out of the four original HUNGER GAMES films. So if you liked those, this should be good news for you.

Furthermore, the film was written by Michael Arndt, who helped write THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (under the name Michael deBruyn) and STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Who Did the Music for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

The title of the novel and movie mentions "songbirds," because Lucy Gray Baird is a singer. She sings a powerful song during the reaping, and songs are a core part of the novel. We know that Dave Cobb is behind the songs for this film. Francis Lawrence told Variety that the songs lean "toward the Appalachian sound," to reflect District 12's West Virginia location.

And because Rachel Zegler can sing, we'll hear her on-set voice in the final movie. Producer Nina Jacobsen says that "Rachel often would opt not to do playback, and just sing it live. Often, after they would call cut, people would just go bananas clapping!"


We'll tell you more about THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES soon!


All images courtesy of Lionsgate.

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