The film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ ‘Hunger Games’ prequel novel, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’, is moving forward at Lionsgate, the studio that adapted the previous novels in the series.  Further, Francis Lawrence, who helmed the last three ‘Hunger Games’ movies, is set to direct this prequel as well.  The story of ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ tells the story of the boy who will eventually become the tyrannical President Snow.  Per the original announcement:

“Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games… only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.”

Get that?  It’s all the poor girl’s fault.

Donald Sutherland as adult Snow – Lionsgate

The book has not yet been released.  It was slated to arrive on May 19, 2020, with events scheduled for midnight releases at Barnes & Nobel and other major retailers, but the coronavirus has derailed that.  NOT that fans of the original books were exactly clamoring for this book, about a privileged white male who seemingly abandons his “friendly” and “charming” heroic nature in order to achieve total domination over a dystopian society where citizens live in either ridiculous splendor or absolute starvation.  Upon the announcement of this novel, the backlash on social media was immediate.

And considering that the world has significantly shifted even closer to a complete dystopia… I kind of doubt anyone is warming to the idea of either the book or movie.

Also returning from the ‘Hunger Games’ series of films are producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, as well as writer, Michael Arndt, who worked on ‘Catching Fire’ and won an Oscar for his screenplay for ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.  He will co-write the script for ‘The Ballad…’ with Collins herself.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake, who is overseeing the project, stated:

“Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is creatively thrilling and takes this world to complex new dimensions that open up amazing cinematic possibilities. We’re thrilled to reunite this filmmaking team with this very unique franchise, and we can’t wait to begin production.”

Collins added:

“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book.  From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honoring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera. It’s such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem. I look forward to collaborating with them and all at Lionsgate as we bring The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to theaters worldwide.”

It appears that the book version of ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ will still be available on May 19, 2020.  The movie will not begin production until after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Source: Deadline