The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was previewed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Thursday. The film is a prequel to The Hunger Games franchise films, taking place decades before and following tyrant President Snow in his younger years. No actual footage from the film was shown, but the minimal teaser showed icy tree branches with a text scroll reading: “The world will discover… who is a songbird… and who is a snake.”
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is based on Suzanne Collins’ most recent book published in 2020 of the same title. The studio announced its plans to turn the prequel book into a feature before the release, but this is one of the first concrete pieces of production that we have seen. The story follows President Coriolanus Snow at age 18 before his days in office when he was chosen as a mentor for District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird in the tenth annual Hunger Games.
Francis Lawrence, director of the latter three Hunger Games films (Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Mockingjay Part 2) is returning to direct the prequel. Michael Arndt, screenwriter for Catching Fire is also returning to write the screenplay. The cast still remains unknown. Lionsgate announced the film’s release date to be on November 17, 2023.