By: Katie Borders
The highly anticipated movie adaption of the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is set to premiere in theaters on Nov. 17. The prequel illustrates the beginnings of the Hunger Games, a bloody annual tradition where 24 tributes from 12 districts are sent to Panem, the capital, to fight to the death; the last tribute alive is the victor and escapes with their life.
The prequel tells the story of the infamous President Coriolanus Snow in his youth and his complex relationship with the magnetic Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12 whom Snow is assigned to mentor in the tenth annual Hunger Games. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows Snow as his ambition and hate inevitably lead to him becoming the infamous President of Panem of the original Hunger Games trilogy.
Lionsgate Films produced and distributed The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, after producing the original four Hunger Games adaptions that starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. The first film of the Hunger Games franchise, which came out in 2012, is the second highest-grossing film series based on young adult books (after the Harry Potter series) and earned over 1.4 billion dollars. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has a budget of 100 million dollars and people anticipate it to take off after its release, similar to the original Hunger Games movie adaptations.
Starring Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as the young Coriolanus Snow, the dramatic film features a refreshingly new but talented cast. Director Francis Lawrence, who also directed the first three Hunger Games movies explains, “It’s just great to have that mix of sort of the fresh faces and the veteran legacy actors.” Lawrence further explains that how characters were cast in the prequel was similar to how actors were cast in the original Hunger Games films, with both newer actors and more experienced actors portraying the roles.
Zegler, who is best known for her role as Maria in Spielberg’s West Side Story, rose to Lawrence’s attention after he saw her in the romantic film. “Like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation … Rachel will make this character unforgettable.” English actor Tom Blyth is best known for his leading roles in Benediction, a World War I action film, and comedy film Scot and Sid. Having a talented cast, Hunger Games fans are sure to enjoy this action packed, cutthroat film.
(Sources: E News, Variety, Wikipedia)