Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” franchise scores a prequel next year with “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” which is set decades before the events of the original film.
The new film follows a teenage Cornelius Snow, long before he becomes President of Panem, as he is assigned to mentor a tribute in the upcoming tenth Hunger Games tournament.
The Capitol of this era, just a decade removed from a major war that led to the establishment of the games, is quite different to the more luxurious cityscape seen in the era of Katniss Everdeen.
Speaking with Total Film Magazine, producer Nina Jacobson says the biggest change about the new film is that it unfolds from the perspective of the Capitol as opposed to the point of view of the districts of the prior films.
The Capitol civilians here are still hurt and angry about the war but aren’t yet sold on The Hunger Games as a tradition:
“It’s the 10th Games, and they’ve been so brutal, so nobody wants to watch them. They’re not celebrated. It’s seen as a horrible task to throw 24 innocent people into an arena … They’re usually brutal and over very quickly.”
Viola Davis’ character, new head game maker Dr. Volumnia Gaul, is reportedly brought in to wage a propaganda campaign to make the Games more relevant, entertaining and sell them to the populous in an effort to maintain control.
Snow comes into action as part of Gaul’s team, paving the way for his rise to power and ultimately taking control of the entire nation.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is slated to open on November 17th 2023.