“Now, the time has come for us to select one courageous young man and woman for the honor of representing District 12 in the 10th Annual Hunger Games…”
It’s official! The very first trailer featuring Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the famous Hunger Games trilogy, is finally out!
The Official Trailer
The trailer promises to be very accurate to the book, giving fans our first proper look at not only Blyth and Zegler, but also Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, Dean of the Academy and inventor of the Hunger Games; Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow, Coriolanus’ older cousin and confidante; Josh André Rivera as Sejanus Plinth, a close friend of Snow; Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, and Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, Head Gamemaker of the 10th Annual Hunger Games.
In-Universe Connections to The Hunger Games Trilogy
Several iconic throwbacks to the original series are included, such as Lucy Gray Baird imitating Katniss’ iconic and sarcastic curtsy to the audience when Baird is selected for the Games, Rue’s four-note whistle to signal that she is safe and sound, and, perhaps most exciting of all, the inclusion of Donald Sutherland’s President Snow saying, “It’s the things we love most that destroy us,” at the end of the trailer.
While The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel movie and the book itself did not feature any Hunger Games characters aside from President Snow and Tigris, the movie is therefore unlikely to include any of the original Hunger Games stars, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth’s Gale Hawthorne. However, based on the trailer, perhaps Donald Sutherland’s President Snow might make an appearance, even if it is only in a voiceover capacity! (Or perhaps the trailer is simply trying to lure Hunger Games fans back with bait…)
The Movie Synopsis
Lionsgate has released a synopsis for the movie:
“Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow 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, the female 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.”
The director of the original Hunger Games movies, Francis Lawrence, is also the director of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, thus promising that the prequel movie will strongly resemble the first four movies in terms of cinematography and book accuracy. Suzanne Collins, the author of the book series and prequel book, is an executive producer of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The movie is set to premiere on November 17, 2023, giving us a welcome Thanksgiving present, albeit one that will undoubtedly be sad because children will be thrown into an arena to fight to the death, and no matter how much we sympathize with Snow, we all know that Coriolanus Snow is not one character who can or will be redeemed, and he and Lucy Gray Baird will not get their happily-ever-after…
Until the movie comes out, reread the entire Hunger Games trilogy and prequel book, rewatch the movies, and stay up-to-date on the latest Panem news here. May the odds be ever in your favor…