The Hunger Games

Photo: EW

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes film adaptation releases its first teaser. Spoilers are not an issue, though. 

Only a few details are divulged in the short teaser, which displays a songbird and snake covered in snow frozen together in a branch. Once the ice melts, the animals’ golden hues are shown, and the snake attacks the bird. 

“You’re invited to return to the Games in 2023,” the video teases. “The world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake.” The movie is expected to drop in theaters on November 17, 2023. 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy featuring Jennifer Lawrence. It tells the tale of a young Coriolanus Snow (portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the Hunger Games films) prior to his authoritarian rule of Panem. 

Tom Blyth will play young Snow, assigned a task to mentor a female tribute from District 12 named Lucy Gray (Rachel Zegler). 

As the film description says, “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-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 tribute from impoverished District 12.” 

The movie’s synopsis concludes, blending their instincts for “showmanship and political savvy,” Coriolanus and Lucy’s “race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.” 

Director of Catching Fire and the two Mockingjay movies, Francis Lawrence, is set to come back to helm the prequel, coming together with Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. Lawrence said in a previous statement that Blyth and Zegler would be cast. 

“Coriolanus Snow is many things – a survivor, a loyal friend, a cutthroat, a kid quick to fall in love, and a young man ambitious to his core,” Lawrence revealed. “Tom’s take on the character showed us all the complex ambiguities of this young man as he transforms into the tyrant he would become.” He further stated of Zegler, “Like everybody, I first saw Rachel Zegler in West Side Story, and like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation. Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”