Lionsgate has announced that the studio will adapt Suzanne Collins’s upcoming prequel for “The Hunger Games,” titled “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will be published by Scholastic simultaneously in print, digital, and audio formats in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand on May 19.
To adapt the new novel, Lionsgate has re-enlisted many members of the original “Hunger Games” franchise’s creative team. Francis Lawrence, who directed “Catching Fire,” “Mockingjay Part 1” and “Mockingjay Part 2,” will return to direct this film; Collins herself will write the film’s treatment and Michael Arndt will adapt the screenplay. Nina Jacobson, who has produced all of the films in the franchise, will produce alongside her partner Brad Simpson. Collins will also serve as an executive producer.
The film will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, decades before he would become the President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and despite the Snow family falling on hard times, he sees a change in the wind when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games — only to have his excitement dashed when he is assigned to mentor the female tribute from District 12.
“Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from ‘The Hunger Games’ while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ is creatively thrilling and takes this world to complex new dimensions that open up amazing cinematic possibilities. We’re thrilled to reunite this filmmaking team with this very unique franchise, and we can’t wait to begin production.”
“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of ‘The Hunger Games,’ and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book,” said Collins. “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.”
You can preorder your copy of the new “Hunger Games” novel here. For more “Hunger Games” content, check out our photo report from The Hunger Games Exhibition in Las Vegas.