In The Hunger Games trilogy, Coriolanus Snow is an evil, evil man. And to be honest, I’m not quite sure people were necessarily clamoring for more time with the Panem president. But in 2020, Suzanne Collins returned to the Hunger Games, dialing it way back 64 years to the Games’ early days. Adding on to a beloved franchise is a risky move, but with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Collins pulled it off. Set in post-war Panem, the story picks up during the 10th Hunger Games, as a young Snow mentors a tribute… from one District 12. And, naturally, we’re in for a big-screen adaption. Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler star in the film, which releases on November 17, 2023.
Lionsgate shared the release date in an icy teaser.
Obviously this teaser gives nothing away, except the film’s excellent logo. The snowy layer breaks to reveal a golden songbird and snake intertwined. It’s a really cool twist on the Hunger Games mockingjay.
Francis Lawrence, who directed four of the five Hunger Games movies, is back as director. Michael Arndt and Michael Lesslie wrote the script. While Blyth and Zegler are currently the only confirmed cast members, we’re looking forward to learning who is joining them soon.
Here’s the official synopsis from Lionsgate:
Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.
Now, the description certainly posits Lucy as the songbird and Snow as the snake. But life in Panem is not always that straightforward. Snow is definitely a snake. But, in some ways, can we expect the same for Lucy? After all, Games or not, life outside the cushy Capitol is one big fight for survival.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes releases on November 17, 2023.