The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
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The origin story of the future despot Coriolanus Snow
Coriolanus Snow was not always the tyrannical and ruthless president he would become. Born into a family of high-status but decreasing wealth, Snow must use his charisma and intelligence to forge a path. A top student at the Academy in Panem, Snow became the mentor for District 12’s tribute Lucy Gray Baird and ot would not be the last time a tribute from District 12 would have a huge impact on the life of Coriolanus Snow. Set before the time of Katniss Everdeen and the resulting Hunger Games stories, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes tells the story of a young Snow training Lucy Gray to be victorious in the Hunger Games and as their relationship develops so too does his thirst for control and power, charting his rise to the top.
Where to watch
Set to follow the release schedule of other films in the Hunger Games franchise, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to be released in cinemas in November. With the date set for 17 November 2023, it is likely that the film will find a streaming release in the months following it coming out in the cinema.
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Videos: Trailers, Teasers, Featurettes
What to know
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is an upcoming sci-fi dystopian adventure film. It serves as a prequel to The Hunger Games (2012) and is the fifth film within the Hunger Games franchise. It is set to be directed by Francis Lawrence, who has directed every Hunger Games film since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is an adaptation of the 2020 spin-off prequel book written by series creator Suzanne Collins. Collins serves as an executive producer for the movie.
The film stars Tom Blyth as a young Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird. Josh Andres Rivera stars as Sejanus Plinth, a Hunger Games mentor who is friends with Snow. Game of Thrones alumnus Peter Dinklage plays Casca Highbottom. Hunter Schafer portrays Tigris, Snow’s cousin. Acclaimed actress and multi-award-winner Viola Davis portrays a new character named Volumnia Gaul who is known as the Head Gamemaker. Tony Award nominee Fionnula Flanagan is Grandma'am to Coriolanus Snow and Flora Li Thiemann portrays the tribute mentor Livia Carden. Mayfair Lipp, a politician's daughter is played by Isobel Jesper Jones and Honor Gillies plays a character named Barb Azure.
The wider cast includes; Eike Onyambu, Konstantin Taffet, Burn Gorman, Scott Folan, Carl Spencer, Michael Greco and Daniela Grubert who all contribute to the unnerving world of this The Hunger Games prequel.
August 8, 2017
Lionsgate CEO, Jon Feltheimer suggested that the company was on board with producing new instalments of the Hunger Games, as long as series creator Suzanne Collins was on board. (Source: Variety)
June 17, 2019
With Suzanne Collins working on finishing up the Hunger Games prequel novel, Lionsgate confirmed that they are looking at a movie adaptation. (Source: Deadline)
April 21, 2020
Director Francis Lawrence who helmed the previous three films of the Hunger Games franchise signed on to direct the film which was confirmed to be titled Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.(Source: Collider)
April 28, 2022
Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was given a release date of November 17, 2023 at CinemaCon 2022. (Source: Collider)
May 31, 2022
Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler are confirmed to be playing the two main characters of the film, Coriolanus Snow and Lucy Gray Baird.(Source: Deadline)
June 6, 2022
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was given its first visual reveal with a short YouTube teaser showing a golden bird and snake breaking out of the ice. (Source: YouTube)
June 27, 2022
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes casts Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius 'Lucky' Flickerman. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)
June 22, 2022
Hunter Schafer joins the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The Euphoria star will be playing Tigris Snow, the cousin and confidante of the future President of Panem. (Source: Deadline)
July 18, 2022
Peter Dinklage joins the cast portraying Casca Highbottom. (Source: Entertainment Weekly)
August 15, 2022
Multi-award winner, Viola Davis, is confirmed to have joined the cast. She is portraying Volumnia Gaul, the Head Gamemaker. (Source: Variety)
August 16, 2022
A new still image from the movie is released offering a glimpse at a softer side of the franchise villain President Snow. (Source: Collider)
September 17, 2022
A huge casting update adds eleven new faces to call list; notable amongst them are Fionnula Flanagan playing Snow's grandmother known as Grandma'am, Isobel Jesper Jones portraying the mayor's daughter Mayfair Lipp and Flora Li Thiemann playing tribute mentor Livia Carden. (Source: Collider)
November 5, 2022
Lead star Rachel Zegler confirmed that filming had finished by tweeting out an on-set image. (Source: Collider)
April 27, 2023
A trailer for the movie is released depicting the first ever Hunger Games. It shows a young President Snow preparing to partake in the games as a trainer of one of the tributes.(Source: YouTube)