'The Hunger Games' Prequel 'The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes' Has Volunteered Its First Trailer as Tribute

If you've ever wondered about Coriolanus Snow's life before he became President of Panem, the answer will arrive in cinemas this November.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 28, 2023

"Spectacles, not survivors". If you've ever wondered what the creator of The Hunger Games wants from its participants, they're his exact words. Meet Casca Highbottom, Dean of the Academy, and the reason that children from 12 of Panem's districts fight to the death every year for the entertainment of the masses — as well as a looming force of evil in prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Yes, every movie franchise ever has to keep returning to screens, as Harry Potter and Twilight are as well. Unlike those two page-to-screen hits — two other favourites straight out of YA literature, too — The Hunger Games is making a cinematic comeback. And, it's gracing theatres again this November because author Suzanne Collins followed up her original trilogy of novels from 2008–10 with a step backwards in 2020.

While Casca Highbottom is a pivotal figure in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, complete with Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) playing the part, another usually- nefarious presence is the movie's protagonist. If you've ever wondered about Coriolanus Snow's life before he became President of Panem and kept having encounters with Katniss Everdeen, here's your answer. This prequel is set 64 years prior to the dystopian tales told in the saga's initial four films between 2012–15, with Tom Blyth (Billy the Kid) doing his best to become a young Donald Sutherland.

If the Wizarding World can have young Dumbledore, The Hunger Games can have young Snow, clearly. As the just-dropped first trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes starts to cover, his backstory includes hailing from a family that's hit hard times in the postwar Capitol. That's how he becomes a mentor to District 12's Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler, Shazam! Fury of the Gods). And that "spectacles, not survivors" comment is spoken his way, in fact, as a word of warning about what's expected in his new role.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Hunger Games story if one of its tributes didn't earn plenty of attention — and hearts. When his protege proves a hit, Snow starts to think about turning the odds in their favour. That said, viewers already know that any good he achieves here won't change the fate that's already been seen in the novels and past movies.

As well as Blyth, Zegler and Dinklage, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes features a stacked cast spanning Jason Schwartzman (I Love That for You), Viola Davis (Air), Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) and Josh Andrés Rivera (Zegler's West Side Story co-star). Francis Lawrence jumps behind the lens again, as he did with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II.

Check out the trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes below:

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes releases in cinemas Down Under on November 16, 2023.

Images: Murray Close.

Published on April 28, 2023 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x