Everyone hungers for something. Collectively, we’ve been hungering for a return to Panem. Thankfully, later this year, we can. Lionsgate unveiled the official trailer for The Hunger Games prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, based on the novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Here’s a synopsis for the film per Lionsgate Publicity: 

“Experience the story of THE HUNGER GAMES — 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.”

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Besides Blyth and Zegler, the film also stars Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow, Josh Andrés Rivera as Sejanus Plinth, Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius ‘Lucky’ Flickerman and Viola Davis as Head Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul. Francis Lawrence returns at the helm as director, with Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt penning the screenplay. 

The trailer whisks us away to Panem as the forbidden romance between Coriolanus and Lucy blossoms. The atmosphere and wardrobe feel very 1960s-inspired, which I dig, giving it an almost retro-futuristic appearance. Viola Davis is utterly imposing as Volumnia Gaul, while Peter Dinklage will undoubtedly be a scene-stealer. Jason Schwartzman is the perfect choice to play a potential ancestor of Caesar Flickerman. 

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The trailer ends with a voiceover from Donald Sutherland, who plays the older version of Snow in The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s haunting. “It’s the things we love most that destroy us.” 

Check out the official poster and trailer below. Brace yourself for a dystopian adventure when The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes hits theaters on November 17, 2023. 

What do you hope to see adapted from the book to the big screen? Sound off in the comments!

The official poster for the dystopian film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, featuring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler on a gold background with songbirds and snakes.

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Melody McCune
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