“The Hunger Games” Prequel Comes To Big Screens In November 2023

President Snow’s evil origin story is coming!

Tributes are set to witness yet another bloodbath in the arena after Lionsgate Entertainment released the official premiere date and poster of “The Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

Eleven years after the release of the first “The Hunger Games” installment, the entertainment company announced that the new addition to the post-apocalyptic trilogy will hit the theaters on November 17, 2023. 

To keep fans at the edge of their seats, the promotion comes with an official poster showcasing the titular songbird and a snake in combat. 

The Hunger Games prequel

Casting goes big and heavy as “West Side Story” actress Rachel Zegler and “Benediction” actor Tom Blyth take the lead roles of Lucy Gray Baird and Coriolanus Snow respectively. 

The Hunger Games prequel
Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”
IMAGE Murray Close

As early as May 31, 2022, Zegler had a cryptic tweet about her role. The tweet reads, “listen up…. Can y’all grow restfully? Are you becoming an individual resting decisively?” Observant fans were quick to point out that the first letter of each word spells out “Lucy Gray Baird.”

Based on the 2020 Suzzane Collins book of the same title, Baird is a tribute from District 12 who has a seemingly parallel arc with Katniss Everdeen. The latter was played by the Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence in the first four feature films. 

Blyth, on the other hand, portrays the young Coriolanus Snow who is initially narrated as the President Snow of Panem. The tyrannical and hostile President of war-torn America was played by Donald Sutherland.

Among the strong lead lineup, The Hunger Games prequel also casts Award-winning actress Viola Davis as Volumnia Gaul– the Head Gamemaker and “Euphoria” actress Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow. 

A Quick Look Back

The prequel is expected to follow the interweaving play of character between Lucy Gray Baird and Coriolanus Snow during the 10th Hunger Games. Set 64 years before Katniss Everdeen’s arc, it presents Baird and Snow’s mentor-apprentice relationship  before the latter’s emergence to tyranny. 

“The Hunger Games” conceptualizes a science fiction apocalyptic approach where the Capitol holds an annual bloodbath in the arena for entertainment. It commences with the reaping wherein the 12 districts of a war-torn America called Panem ought to send a male and female tribute to compete inside a holographic battlefield. In the end, the lone survivor will be hailed as the victor. 

Are We Getting More Arena Moments Soon?

Rumors have it that “The Hunger Games” prequel is a preparation for the franchise’s comeback. With Lionsgate’s development of its own streaming platform, speculations have arisen over the possibility of spin-offs, including full features for “Haymitch Abernathy” and “Finnick Odair” played by Woody Harrerlson and Sam Claflin respectively. 

Banner Art Dani Sison 

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