If you’re a Hunger Games fan, chances are you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the first teaser to the prequel movie, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, to arrive online, especially if you learned a teaser had been released a month ago at CinemaCon. That trailer has now been released for the larger world to enjoy, and while it fails to include any footage of the events leading up to Katniss’ overthrow of Panem, it also fails to answer a very important question: Do we need a Hunger Games prequel?
If you’ve read original author Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which was published in 2020, you can answer that question better than I can. All I know is the synopsis (via Deadline), which doesn’t sound especially.... necessary:
“Collins’ Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy published in 2020, finds 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow as 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 girl 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’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”
This should seem like a pretty easy call: Which is which, the man who would become the president of the dystopian world that forces children to fight to the death on live TV, or a girl who was involuntarily selected for that same fight? But one of the best things about The Hunger Games is Collins’ unwillingness to make things black or white, so I would presume there’s more going on here. However, even if there is, is President Snow a compelling enough villain to warrant his own prequel? The fact that this first teaser decided to go with weird, golden, CG snake and bird imagery from the novel’s original cover art versus footage of Tom Blyth as the young Coriolanus Snow or Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird or anything more interesting implies the answer is no.
Either way, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is due to arrive November 17, 2023. That should give everybody plenty of time to learn how to tell the two apart.
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