When The Hunger Games franchise drew to a close in 2015, it took with it one of the decades most iconic and complicated heroines, Katniss Everdeen. Her actions changed the world, and for the better. But fans have wondered, ever since the first book arrived in 2008, how the world got that way in the first place. Now, after months of hinting and teasers, Lionsgate has made it official. A Hunger Games prequel film called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be coming to theaters.
Prequels to beloved franchises can be a dicey proposition. The Star Wars prequels, for instance, are infamous for how badly they crashed and burned in the early aughts. The same goes for The Hobbit prequels to The Lord of the Rings, where Peter Jackson attempted to take a slim novel and turn it into a giant trilogy equal to the first set of films. Even the Harry Potter follow up, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has struggled with critics.
But the good news is the new Hunger Games film will be based on a brand new book that author Suzanne Collins already wrote, which will be on bookshelves in a matter of weeks. The novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is already available for pre-order, and debuts on May 19, 2020.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the synopsis is as follows:
The Hunger Games prequel film will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the 10th Hunger Games, only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.
The new film will bring back Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, who produced all four of the original Hunger Games films. Francis Lawrence will be back to direct; he helmed three out of four of the movies: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. No cast has been announced as of yet.
You can pre-order The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes here ahead of the May 19 release. The movie adaptation does not yet have a release date.