Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes gets teaser trailer

·2-min read
 (Lionsgate)
(Lionsgate)

Get ready to feel nostalgic, because The Hunger Games is back.

That’s right: the prequel to the much-loved film series is coming out next year, and audiences at the MTV Movie & TV Awards were treated to a prequel trailer last night.

Titled The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the upcoming film will be based on the novel of the same name by author Suzanne Collins.

This film will follow the story of President Coriolanus Snow before he was President of Panem. Played by Donald Sutherland in the original film series, he was the main antagonist and ultimately met a gruesome end at the hands of heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Here, Snow will be played by Billy the Kid actor Tom Blyth, while the role of Lucy Gray will be played by West Side Story actor Rachel Zegler.

The trailer itself shows an iced-over bird and snake, which gradually thaw over the course of the clip.

Donald Sutherland played Coriolanus Snow in the original film series (Lionsgate)
Donald Sutherland played Coriolanus Snow in the original film series (Lionsgate)

Played alongside it is the message: You’re invited to return to The Games.’

The film’s description also promises an action-packed film – and one that sees a return of The Hunger Games, the yearly event that sees “tributes” from each district of the fantasy land Panem battle each other to the death for fame and glory.

“Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol,” it reads.

“With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.

Rachel Zegler, shown here at the Grammys, will play Lucy Gray Baird (Getty Images for The Recording A)
Rachel Zegler, shown here at the Grammys, will play Lucy Gray Baird (Getty Images for The Recording A)

“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 favour. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”

The film will be directed by Francis Lawrence, who told Deadline that Zegler was the obvious choice for the role of Lucy.

“Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving,” he said. “Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be released on November 17, 2023

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