Michael Lesslie, the British screenwriter known for Assassin’s Creed and the 2015 Macbeth adaptation has been set to write the screenplay for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, based on the best-selling prequel novel by Suzanne Collins. The film will be directed by Francis Lawrence who directed the last three films of the Hunger Games franchise. The prequel follows Coriolanus Snow, who is neither malevolent nor bloodthirsty for power compared to his appearances in the original Hunger Games films. He is, however, ambitious, at 18-years-old, he becomes a mentor in the 10th Annual Hunger Games and gets assigned to District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird. What follows is a complicated relationship between him and Lucy, and the compassionate and cold versions of himself.
When Will The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Be Released?
As of right now, the film is scheduled to hit theaters on November 17, 2023. It’s currently slated to open against Denis Villeneuve’s highly-anticipated sequel Dune: Part 2, as well as DreamWorks’ Trolls 3.
Is There a Trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?
The teaser trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes dropped on June 5, 2022.
Little is revealed in this trailer, as it primarily announces the upcoming film. Viewers do see a return of the highly acclaimed soundtrack, altered for the prequel but still composed by James Newton Howard. The dramatic defrosting of a golden Mockingjay and snake represents the film’s title. The final image at the end of the trailer, of a serpent slithering beneath a songbird, is the same image that graces the cover of the book’s original material.
Who Is in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?
Tom Blyth takes over from Donald Sutherland, portraying a younger Coriolanus Snow. A rising star in the industry, Blythe has starred in the 2021 historical drama Benediction as Glen Byam Shaw, the HBO series The Gilded Age as Archie Baldwin, and the Epix series Billy the Kid as the outlaw William H. Bonney.
Rachel Zegler brings her beautiful singing voice, which shot her to stardom, to the character of Lucy Gray Baird. After her acclaimed and award-winning turn as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 adaptation of West Side Story, Zegler is quickly becoming one of the hottest and most in-demand names in the industry. She is also set to star as Anthea, a daughter of Apollo, in David F. Sandberg’s superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and will play the title role in Disney’s live-action remake of Snow White.
Playing Coriolanus Snow’s cousin, Tigris Snow, who audiences saw in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, is Hunter Schafer. Schafer’s breakout role came when she helped kickstart the Emmy Award-winning HBO series Euphoria as Jules Vaughn. Alongside playing Tigris in the film she is also set to star in the horror film Cuckoo which is slated for release in 2023.
Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Dinklage is Dean Casca Highbottom, one of two men who originally created the concept of the Hunger Games. He saw his first credited role in 1995 for playing Tito in the cult comedy Living in Oblivion. He went on to play supporting roles in Never Again, Tiptoes, and Elf. In 2003, he played a lead role in Station Agent, which director Tom McCarthy won a BAFTA for. He has since gone on to star in films such as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I Care A Lot, Pixels, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Avengers: Infinity War, I Think We’re Alone Now, and Death at the Funeral. He garnered mass praise for his role of Tyrion Lannister in the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones. He revolutionized a dearly loved musical in the 2021 film Cyrano, playing the poetic man pining after unrequited love, Cyrano de Bergerac. He recently carried another lead role in the 2022 black comedy American Dreamer as Dr. Phil Loder. He is next set to star in Macon Blair’s remake of The Toxic Avenger, the dramedy She Came To Me opposite Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei, and the comedy Brothers alongside Josh Brolin, Brendan Fraser, and Glenn Close.
Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis will play the film’s villain, Dr. Volumnia Gail, the head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games. Davis has quite the impressive career, having starred in films such as Fences, The Help, Widows, Doubt, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Suicide Squad, The Unforgivable, Prisoners, and Get On Up, among others. Davis has also ventured into television with roles in shows like How to Get Away with Murder (for which she won the Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series), and The First Lady, and guest-spots on shows such as Peacemaker, Scandal, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Davis is next set to headline the historical epic The Woman King from Gina Prince-Bythewood, as well as reprising her role as Amanda Waller in Black Adam, and will play Deloris Jordan, the mother of Michael Jordan, in Ben Affleck’s Nike drama.
Jason Schwartzman is the interview host for the 10th Hunger Games, Lucretious Flickerman, the ancestor to Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) who audiences previously saw in the earlier Hunger Games films. Schwartzman saw his breakout role in 1998 as the lead in the Wes Anderson comedy Rushmore. He later played in various short films, films, and television series. He voiced Ash Fox in the 2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox and helped lead the HBO comedy series Bored to Death. He’s known for his role of Cousin Ben in the 2012 coming-of-age romance Moonrise Kingdom and for playing songwriter Richard Sherman in the Disney drama Saving Mr. Banks. He recently starred in Wes Anderson’s 2021 The French Dispatch as Hermès Jones. He’s slated to appear in Asteroid City in 2022 and lend his voice to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Laurel Marsden is Mayfair Lipp, daughter of District 12’s mayor. Marsden’s first work was the 2019 short film Contempt, in which she played Angel. She recently had a role in the MCU in the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel as Zoe Zimmer. Along with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, she will be featured in the horror All Fun and Games, which is now in post-production