Those who have been waiting for the next entry in The Hunger Games franchise can rest easy. While it doesn’t provide a ton of context into the series and instead shows off the iconic songbird pendant, the first teaser for The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes has been released. In the teaser, we can see the pendant unfreezing, which heralds yet another run of the infamous Hunger Games tournament.
The film is set for a 2023 release and will be helmed by director Francis Lawrence. You may know of Lawrence’s work from movies like Water For Elephants or I Am Legend, alongside three of the four films in the Hunger Games series. The film is based on yet another book by Suzanne Collins while the screenplay is written by Michael Arndt. He’s written such films as Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, and The Force Awakens.
People who read the book will have a leg up, but in addition to the teaser, Lionsgate released the official synopsis for the prequel:
Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) 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 (Rachel Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, 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 Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.
Even though the cast of this particular Hunger Games is different, the core of the story — class conflict and maintaining your honor in the face of temptation — remains the same. The film stars Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler, as Coriolanus Snow and Lucy Gray Baird respectively. The film is due to be released during the holiday season in 2023.