Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler in Hunger Games prequel
Over ten years since the very first Hunger Games film came out, the franchise is getting a prequel film. On Wednesday, Lionsgate released a brand new trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, based on Suzanne Collins’s 2020 novel.
The trailer teases the early days of Coriolanus Snow, Panem’s future dictator. At just 18 years old, Snow is tasked with mentoring Lucy Gray, District 12’s tribute for the 10th annual Hunger Games. The two, naturally, form an unlikely connection. In the trailer, Coriolanus must reckon with his duty as a mentor and affection for Lucy. “Your role is to turn these children into spectacles, not survivors,” he is advised in the trailer. But Coriolanus pushes back, saying, “those tributes don’t have a choice.”
What We See In The New Trailer
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes boasts an early Hunger Games before the massive and high-tech arenas of the original Hunger Games films. Unlike an entire world enclosed by a force field, it appears to take place in an empty colosseum-type building. But the cruelty of the games remains the same — one of the trailer’s final scenes features hundreds of rainbow snakes poured into the top of the arena. “I want my enemies to see a rainbow of destruction,” the head game maker muses.
Additionally, more so than ever, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes appears to explore the purpose of the games. The trailer begins with a question from the headmaker, “What are The Hunger Games for?” and ends with that very same question, this time directed at Coriolanus: “Mr. Snow, let me ask you one more time. What are The Hunger Games for?”
Though The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes place 64 years before Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, the trailer contains a nod or two to the original Hunger Games films that we all know and love. Snow welcomes Lucy to the capitol with his signature white rose, for example, and Lucy sings the same “Hanging Tree” song that Katniss sang in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
Who Is Involved
Tom Blyth (Scott and Sid, Benediction) plays Coriolanus Snow, while Rachel Zegler (West Side Story, Shazam) plays Lucy Gray. Zegler, it appears, will put her musical background to use — Lucy is a skilled singer. Also included in the cast are Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman, Josh Andrés Rivera, and Hunter Schafer. Francis Lawrence, who directed Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Mockingjay Part 2, returns to direct.
In preparation for The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, 2012’s The Hunger Games is returning to theaters this October. So be sure to snag a ticket before The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes comes out on November 17.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023) Lionsgate Official Trailer