Let the Games continue.
On Tuesday, April 21, Lionsgate formally announced that the Hunger Games franchise will officially get a prequel movie based on author Suzanne Collin’s highly anticipated novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Francis Lawrence, who previously directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay parts 1 and 2, will direct the upcoming prequel film. Collins will adapt the screenplay with the help of screenwriter Michael Arndt, who assisted in penning the Catching Fire screenplay.
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Donald Sutherland played as the authoritarian President Snow in the first four movies, which encompassed the nation Panem and its annual event where two teenaged “tributes” from each of the 12 Districts were chosen at random to eliminate one another in a brutal arena. Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in the franchise, is a young woman from the impoverished District 12 who survived the games and fought to overthrow the system, and was the focus of Collins’ earlier books. However, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will follow an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow.
Before he became president of Panem, Snow is picked to be a mentor for the 10th annual Hunger Games. At first he’s excited, but then upset when he realizes the female tribute he’s been assigned is from District 12. Nina Jacobson, who produced all the previous Hunger Games movies, will return to produce the prequel alongside Brad Simpson.
“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book,” Collins, who also serves as executive producer, said in a statement. “From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honoring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera. It’s such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem. I look forward to collaborating with them and all at Lionsgate as we bring The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to theaters worldwide.”