The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has cast its star. According to EW, Tom Blyth, who is currently starring in the Epix series Billy the Kid as the title role, will play a young Coriolanus Snow. Actor Donald Sutherland played the older President Snow in the four The Hunger Games films. 

The official The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes synopsis reads, “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.


Based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes caused a bit of a stir before the book was even released. The older Coriolanus Snow was the evil and abusive mass-murdering president of Panem. Many found it hard to imagine liking, or even wanting to like, Coriolanus Snow as a young person knowing the truth of who he is to become. However, that is the true beauty of storytelling. And, judging from the book’s 4-star rating on Goodreads and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, fans were swayed by Collins’ story. 

Directing the Lionsgate film is Francis Lawrence who also directed three of the four The Hunger Games films. Lawrence said in a statement, “Coriolanus Snow is many things — a survivor, a loyal friend, a cutthroat, a kid quick to fall in love, and a young man ambitious to his core. Tom’s take on the character showed us all the complex ambiguities of this young man as he transforms into the tyrant he would become.”

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to release on November 17, 2023. 

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Audrey Kearns