Almost ten years after the last Hunger Games movie, it’s time to go back to the arena and fight for our lives. Thankfully, we don’t have to fight or risk our lives at all, but the tributes of the 10th annual Hunger Games cannot say the same. Suzanne Collins, the writer of The Hunger Games books, and Francis Lawrance, the director of the last Hunger Games movies, are back to give us another story from the heart of Panem: The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The thrilling and heartbreaking adventures of Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Melark, and Gale have kept us on the edge of our seats for the majority of the 2010s. Dystopian future, capitalistic society, killer games, and love triangles have been the defining themes of the 2010s, and The Hunger Games movies were in the lead. This time, Suzanne Collins is taking us back to the beginning of it all. It is not the start of the Hunger Games per se but the start of Coriolanus Snow and his descent into the power-hungry murderer we know.
The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will introduce us to the tributes, mentors, and game makers of the 10th Hunger Games. We’ve seen the trailer, we’re very excited, and we cannot wait to share with you everything we know about the upcoming prequel to one of the best dystopian films ever made!
What Is The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes About?
Set after the civil war that almost destroyed Panem and more than sixty years before the story of Katniss Everdeen, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes tells the story of District 12’s tribute Lucy Gray Baird and her mentor Coriolanus Snow. The unlikely pair will have to work together in order to survive and win the 10th Hunger Games. Surrounded by politics, selfish reasons, love, betrayal, and power, Snow and Lucy will fight to find out who is a songbird and who is a snake.
Why Should You Be Excited About the Upcoming Prequel?
Fans of The Hunger Games have long wanted to know more about the history of Panem and the origin of the games. During The Hunger Games movies, we got to see many of the past winners of the games, including Finnick, Joana, and Anny. Each of the past tributes gave the audience a quick look into their version of the game and the life they led after winning. But as fans, we wanted to dive deeper into the origin of this corrupt system.
Instead of going all the way back to the start of the Hunger Games and the Civil War between the Capitol and the Districts, Suzanne Collins decided to give us a look into the story of Coriolanus Snow and, through it, a look into Panem sixty years before Katniss Everdeen toppled the system. Fans will get to see the young, power-hungry, and ambitious Snow as he makes a name for himself in Panem and paves the way for his future as President.
We will also get to meet another courageous tribute from the impoverished District 12. Lucy Gray, dubbed by the movie’s creators as the “anti-Katniss”, will lead the story alongside Snow. Her flare of showmanship and her ability to attract people’s attention smoothly will be her winning grace in the games. Unlike Katniss, who does not want to be seen or noticed, Lucy will use the Capitol’s love for entertainment to survive.
The prequel will give fans of The Hunger Games their long-awaited glimpse into Panem’s past. It will also introduce a lot of the features of the games that we’ve seen in future games and show us how they came to be. The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a movie not to be missed for the fans of the franchise and newcomers alike!
Do You Need To Watch The Previous Hunger Games Movies First?
It is always better to watch movies or read books in the order the creator intended. So, in the case of The Hunger Games Franchise, the best order to watch the films would be:
- The Hunger Games (2012)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
- The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)
Watching in this order will ensure that you get the full experience of the stories in the way Suzanne Collins intended. It also gives you the best experience when you notice easter eggs from previous films in new films. You will also be 100% sure that you won’t miss any information or mentions of an event you have not seen.
However, if you have not watched the previous Hunger Games movies yet, you can start by watching A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, as it is the first film, chronologically speaking. Many people enjoy watching movies in chronological order, even if they were not meant to be watched that way!
Our preference and recommendation is to watch the movies in order of release. You still have a lot of time to watch all four previous Hunger Games movies before November. You can find them all available to stream on Netflix. They are worth your time, and we’re sure you will absolutely love them!
Will The Cast of The Previous Hunger Games Movies Appear in The Prequel?
We know how much you love Jennifer Lawrance, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and the entire cast of The Hunger Games! We, too, would love to see them in upcoming films. However, we seriously doubt they will make an appearance in The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Considering that the film takes place more than six decades before the events of The Hunger Games (2012), most of our characters, including Katniss Everdeen, have not yet been born! So, it will be a little difficult for them to make a cameo.
We know how brilliant that cast has been and how perfectly chosen for their roles they were. Even though we probably won’t be able to see the old cast this time, we can only put our trust in Suzanne Collins and the creators of A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to have chosen a new cast just as perfect as the old one.
The Tributes and Mentors of The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
There are no games without tributes, and the tributes need mentors to help them train and understand the game in the hopes of getting out as the sole winner. Previous Hunger Games movies have given us an excellent group of tributes throughout the four movies. They made us love them, hate them, cheer for them, and cry for them. The actors behind those characters became icons, and their careers soared to unfathomable heights (at least some of them).
So this time, we have high expectations for the cast of A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and we hope they will live up to them! Let’s get to know them and what they worked on before.
Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow
The future President of Panem is played by Tom Blyth. Tom is an English actor who has pursued acting since he was a young boy. After finishing high school, he took drama classes at the Television Workshop and then joined the National Youth Theatre. To complete his formal education, he joined the esteemed school of Julliard in New York City and graduated in 2020.
He started his career with supporting roles in films such as Robin Hood (2010) and Pelican Blood (2010). While at Julliard, he starred in the film Scott and Sid (2018) with Richard Mason. After graduation, Tom was cast in the drama film Bendication (2022) and the Epix series Billy The Kid.
His role as Coriolanus Snow will be his first major role in a blockbuster movie. Playing the elusive future President of Panem and current Hunger Games mentor will not be an easy task. All eyes are on Tom, and we hope he does a marvellous job!
Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird
Our new (or old?) tribute from District 12 is Lucy Gray Baird, played by the talented Rachel Zegler. Rachel started her acting career playing titular roles in her high school drama club, where she portrayed Belle in Beauty and The Beast, Cosette in Les Miserables, and Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical! She received Metro Award nominations for almost all her leading roles.
Rachel got her big break and first Hollywood role when acclaimed director Steven Speilberg had an open casting call for his film adaptation of West Side Story. She landed the role of Maria, beating over 30,000 other actresses! Her excellent portrayal of the main character of the Broadway classic earned her a Critic’s Choice Award nomination and her first Golden Globe Award win for Best Actress!
With her career launched and soaring, Rachel is set to play Snow White in the upcoming Disney live-action adaptation, as well as our very own Lucy Gray. Snow might be the main character of The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but all eyes will be on Lucy as she commands the show.
Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom
Have you ever wondered who thought of the idea of The Hunger Games? It’s this guy! Dean Casca Highbottom, played by none other than Peter Dinklage. After studying acting at Bennington College, Peter pursued acting for a couple of years before he gave up temporarily and worked as a Data Analyst.
When he got back to his dream job, Peter played several supporting roles before he found his breakthrough role in Tom McCarthy’s The Station Agent (2003). His real breakout role, the one that got him international fame, was none other than Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s epic Game of Thrones. His role in GoT won him four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a SAG Award.
An established actor and a highly talented performer, Peter appeared in major projects such as X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). His upcoming role as the unintentional creator of The Hunger Games is highly anticipated. We already know he is an excellent actor, and we cannot wait to see what he has to show as Casca Highbottom!
Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul
Every Hunger Games needs a game maker, and this time, it’s Dr. Volumnia Gaul, played by the powerhouse actress Viola Davis. The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards) winner is a force to be reckoned with! Since graduating from Juilliard in 1993, the actress has been taking Hollywood and Broadway by storm.
Viola started her career on the stage, earning her first Tony for her role as Tonya in King Hedley II (2001) and her second playing Rose in August Wilson’s Fences (2010). In 2011, she had her film breakthrough role opposite Emma Stone in The Help. She then went on to lead ABC’s crime drama How To Get Away With Murder as Annalise Keating. Her role as Annalise made her the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for Leading Actress in a Drama.
Playing the game maker of A Ballad of Songbird and Snakes will not be Viola’s first time playing a villain. Her role as Amanda Waller in DCEU films has gained a fan-favourite reaction, and we cannot wait to see her bring out her dark side again!
Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow
Not yet an ally of Katniss Everdeen or a revolution sympathiser, Tigris Snow is the confidant and cousin of Coriolanus Snow and the keeper of all his secrets. The cold and stylish Capitol resident is played by the beautiful Hunter Schafer.
Hunter started her career as a model, modelling for prominent fashion houses such as Prada, Dior, Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Thiery Mugler. In 2018, Hunter made her acting debut as she was cast to play the role of Jules in Sam Lavinson’s Euphoria. Her role as Jules earned her international fame as well as a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. She also got to co-write and co-produce a special episode of Euphoria.
Even though she has limited acting experience, Hunter’s talents and how she handles her role as Jules makes us believe she will be great as Tigris. From her character’s poster, we know she already has the looks locked, and now it’s time to get the character locked as well.
For old and new fans alike, The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is one of 2023’s most anticipated films. It is expected to make great numbers at the box office around the world as it already has a dedicated fanbase waiting for it! The Hunger Games films are known to be entertaining and educational at the same time, so it’s a great film to see with your family and friends! Make sure to catch it in theaters on 17 November 2023.