Film News for Hunger Games Prequel: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Planned for 2023 Thanksgiving Release

As we knew they would be, the Hollywood Gamemakers are hard at work on the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s brilliant Hunger Games prequel: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. It really is a remarkable novel. If you need a refresher, check out mine and our Headmaster‘s thoughts from its release in 2020, as well as a run-down of connections to the original trilogy. If you have not read the novel, you have time before the film’s planned 2023 release. If you have read it, you are probably wondering how the filmmakers will deal with the main character, the young up-and-comer Coriolanus Snow, as well as some of the complex and fascinating Machiavellian themes.Of course the movie business loves unpleasant protagonists, from the Joker to Venom, so they are doubtless planning another humongous blockbuster, once again without the slightest indication that they understand the irony of these splashy productions that hit theaters during the Thanksgiving season. The film is still in the early stages, with little known except that the director will once again be Francis Lawrence, and that other production staff and writers (including Collins) involved with the previous films will be joining this one.  No casting has been announced, but I would love to start taking suggestions. If you have ideas about who should play the deviously charming Snow, the talented (and also devious) Lucy Gray Baird, the hapless optimist Sejanus,  the horrifying Dr. Gaul, or any other of the fascinating characters, let’s start discussing those now, before the Hollywood people invariably make choices that make us scratch our heads. What are your expectations for what will, sadly, always be called “the fifth Hunger Games movie”?



  1. Wayne Stauffer says

    I really hope Suzanne Collins is writing this as another trilogy of novels first, as the basis for the movies.

  2. Elizabeth says

    I do hope there are more prequels. I can guess about the Tigris/Coryo fallout and the fate of the Covey, but I am always impressed by the complexity and artistry Collins brings to her work. I’d like to see more!

  3. Loved this book. I loved the original trilogy in chronological order (1. HG, 2. CF, 3. MJ), yet ironically preferred the movies in reverse order (I thought they got better and better). I honestly think this book was so literary and dense, I fear one standalone movie will not fit all the pieces in, but I also don’t want another “The Hobbit” trilogy. So I’m torn.

  4. I’m also dying for more! I really hope Collins has more books planned. That being said, I am happy to hear that Francis Lawrence is back. I thought he did a good job adhering to the original books. Casting seems even more difficult with this one though. Knowing Snow’s arc and how he was played in the movies makes things more difficult, in my opinion. I still am captivated by the Katnis character, but Lucy Gray sucked me right in as well. I’m unsure how in the world they will find an actress that can sing in a captivating/spellbinding/convincing way, in basically what I might label a “folk” genre! Maybe a younger country singer that’s interested in an acting career…? Going to be beyond a challenge!

  5. Read this tidbit this morning:

    Who is in The Hunger Games prequel cast?

    Casting details have been kept very hush-hush, but over Memorial Day Weekend, Rachel Zegler sparked rumors that she’s been tapped for the prequel — and it all stems from one mysterious tweet. On May 30, the actress wrote, “listen up….. can y’all grow restfully? are you becoming an individual resting decisively?”

    listen up….. can y’all grow restfully? are you becoming an individual resting decisively?
    — rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) May 30, 2022

    Per Just Jared, fans quickly decoded the meaning behind the message, noting that the first letter of every word spells out Lucy Gray Baird, a main character in The Ballad. The actress has not made any other comments about the film or the franchise, nor has the studio made any announcement, but this *seems* to be one major hint.

    While Rachel’s involvement in the project is unclear, there has been one confirmed casting. On May 16, People revealed that Tom Blyth will star as young Coriolanus Snow, who is 18 years old when the events of The Ballad take place. The British actor stars in the EPIX series Billy the Kid, and has previously held roles in The Gilded Age and Benediction.

    Not much to go on – the phrase made no sense to me, and maybe fans are grasping at straws…

  6. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for the heads-up, MikeG! It is official.
    As you might guess, I have a few initial thoughts, so standby for them!

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