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Friday, September 22, 2023

New ‘Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Images Set the Stage

The Big Picture

  • The Hunger Games prequel, titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, delves into the early life of President Snow and his complex emotions towards Lucy Gray Baird.
  • The film’s title reflects the internal struggles of Snow as he navigates his feelings for Lucy and his loyalty to the Capitol, shedding light on his character development.
  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled to be released in theaters on November 17, 2023.

The official X (the platform previously known as Twitter) handle of The Hunger Games franchise has dropped four fresh new images of The Hunger Games prequel that is set 64 years before the events of the original series. The prequel is titled The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and is based on the book of the same name written by Suzanne Collins which was released back in May 2020. The story basically revolves around the life of Coriolanus Snow, the famous President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in the original four chapters of The Hunger Games, and by Tom Blyth in the prequel.

The film and new images also feature Blyth’s Coriolanus Snow and West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird. There’s a framed aesthetic to the pictures — one dedicated to Lucy Gray Baird with a backdrop of what looks like a collapsed arena, one featuring the youthful and naive Snow, another featuring the Hunger Games broadcasting platform, and one where Snow is handing a white rose to Lucy.

The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Rachel Zegler Tom Blyth
Image via Lionsgate

‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Has a Deeper Meaning

The story primarily follows Coriolanus Snow, who seems to be neither deeply ambitious, cruel, and ruthless, like his older, President of Panem self, nor entirely virtuous. He plays somewhat of a naive young man instructed by Dean Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage), the creator of the Hunger Games, who, in the official trailer tells him, “As a mentor, Mr. Snow, your role is to mentor these children into spectacles, not survivors.” However, the young Snow seems to have affection for Lucy Gray Baird, the tribute from District 12.

The film’s title portrays the emotions the plot follows as the young Snow constantly struggles between his feelings for Lucy Gray Baird — who is a singer and the tribute to whom he is assigned as a mentor — and his commitment to the Capitol. It’s a powerful depiction of Snow’s emotions and will let fans understand Coriolanus Snow’s character arc, his family’s struggles, and the origins of his ambitions and beliefs about the Capitol and Districts. Essentially, it gives more depth to the phrase, “Who is the songbird, and who is the snake?

The cast also includes Viola Davis who plays Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head game maker of the 10th annual Hunger Games, Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow, and Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman (assumed ancestor to Caesar Flickerman). The film is directed by Francis Lawrence and the screenplay is from Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled to be released in theaters on November 17, 2023. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates and check out the new images below.

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