The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Hunger Games prequel movie coming to theaters

In 2008, Suzanne Collins took the world by storm with the release of her novel, “The Hunger Games.” In 2009 and 2010, she also released the last two books in the trilogy, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”. The dystopian series following the character of Katniss Everdeen was so popular that before Collins had released her final book, the first Hunger Games movie was released in spring of 2012. 

Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, the movie only brought more attention to the series. By 2015, all four of “The Hunger Games” movies had been released, bringing around what was believed to be the end of “an era.”

Suzanne Collins, however, had different plans, and surprised fans with the announcement of a “Hunger Games” prequel. The book, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” was first announced “on June 16, 2019 by Scholastic Press,” according to The Hunger Games Wiki, and “was later published on May 19, 2020.”

Since then, fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting for the movie adaptation of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Their wish was granted when, as stated by Seventeen, “Lionsgate officially announced the release date for the upcoming ‘Hunger Games’ prequel movie, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,’ at the 2022 CinemaCon.”

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Set in Panem, the original setting of the Hunger Games series, the novel followed a young President Snow and his mentee Lucy Gray Baird throughout the 10th Hunger Games. The first trailer for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was first dropped in late April 2023 and a shorter teaser trailer aired in early June.

While the movie is not guaranteed to follow the novel’s storyline exactly, the official synopsis on the “Hunger Games” Movie website states, “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-years-old Coriolanus Snow 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, the girl’s tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony,” the website continues. “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’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”

After the movie’s announcement, the cast of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was slowly reported. Cast members include Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, and Viola Davis. 

In May of 2022, Seventeen reported that “Rachel Zegler, known for her performance in West Side Story, would be starring as Lucy Gray Baird, after having previously turned down the role in January of 2022.” Just weeks before, it was also announced that Tom Blyth (who has starred in Billy the Kid and Benediction) would assume the role of Coriolanus Snow. 

Fans were also delighted when on Nov. 1, 2023, “The Hunger Games” twitter page let followers know that Olivia Rodrigo’s original song, “Can’t Catch Me Now”, would be featured in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” film. Along with the announcement, a snippet of the movie and Rodrigo’s song was attached. The full version of the song was released two days later, on Nov. 3, on all platforms.

For those eager to return to Panem, there’s not much time left to wait. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” comes to theaters on Friday, Nov. 17. 

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Lainey Vollmer
Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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