Head back to Panem and discover the origins of a young Coriolanus Snow (Billy the Kid’s Tom Blyth), decades before he would rule as the oppressive president of the nation, in the first trailer for the prequel film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. The film is based on the novel of the same name by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins.
Set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, the film follows an 18-year-old Snow, who is looking for a purpose as he tries to restore relevancy to his disgraced family in the Capitol. Ahead of the 10th Annual Hunger Games, Snow is assigned to mentor the female tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird (West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler). As Hunger Games co-creator Casca Highbottom (Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) tells Snow in the trailer, a mentor’s job is to “turn these children into spectacles, not survivors.” During the reaping ceremony, Baird boldly sings and curtsies to the crowd, reminding fans of another defiant District 12 tribute, Katniss Everdeen, who would unite the nation years later.
The logline from Lionsgate Studio reads: “But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.”
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes also stars Hunter Schafer (Euphoria), Josh Andrés Rivera (West Side Story), Jason Schwartzman (Asteroid City), and Viola Davis (Air). Francis Lawrence (Slumberland), who directed the final three films in The Hunger Games franchise, directs the prequel from a script written by Michael Lesslie (Assassin’s Creed) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine).
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is in theaters on November 17.