Voila! The Curtains Rise on a New Spectacle
It’s been more than ten years since the original Hunger Games trilogy graced movie theaters everywhere. Originally a part of the wave of young-adult fantasy and dystopia craze, the series is set to make a return in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Even better news is the fact that Viola Davis is set to star as the villainous Dr. Gaul
The Origin of Evil
Fans of the series are already familiar with Snow as the antagonist of the original trilogy. In this new installment, Snow will actually be in the protagonist. Fans will finally be able to witness the influences that led to Snow’s brutality in the original films. A major player in this regard is Viola’s character, Dr. Gaul. Right off the bat, her design should reminds fans of Elizabeth Bank’s character, Effie Trinket — an overly flamboyant style which perfectly captures the aesthetic of the Capitol. She gives a sinister speech as to what’s to come in this new rendition of “the games.” Taking place in what feels like a cathedral (perfectly dramatic for a speech) to a crowd of young adults, Davis’ words of encouragement are aimed toward “the leaders of the next generation” — an actual tongue-in-cheek reference to Snow’s eventual succession in the trilogy. She also introduces Peter Dinkalage’s character, Dean Casca Highbottom. Fans may immediately start drawing distinctions between Dr. Gaul as a villain compared to Snow during this speech. In a way, Davis’ character seems more sinister, as she seems to truly believe that her actions will benefit society as a whole. In her speech, the way she speaks makes it seem like she knows exactly how far these reapings will go: “…Leaders of the next generation; I won’t be alive forever after all.”
Something Not Quite Familiar
Based off the released clip and other promotional material so far, this latest entry in the Hunger Games franchise seems to be different from past entries. Due to it centering around Coriolanus Snow, a Capitol citizen, fans will see the games from a new perspective. If the 2020 book is anything to go off of, fans can expect an emphasis on drama and backstabbing plot twists rather than survival and suspense. This would also explain why Davis was cast as Dr. Gaul, a mentor for Snow. Davis, who also starred in How to Get Away With Murder, which was known for its various plot twists and mind games, makes perfect sense for this role. It should also be refreshing to see Davis in a more evil role. She certainly has the chops for intense drama, so it’ll be interesting to see how she handles such a wicked role. Another exciting aspect for fans is a Davis-and-Dinklage combo. Seeing how these interact with one another and their onscreen chemistry should certainly be interesting to say the least.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is less than a month away from now with a theatrical release date of November 17, 2023.
Official Lionsgate Trailer of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes