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That Hunger Games Prequel You Knew Was Coming Just Hired a Director

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Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in 2015's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in 2015's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Image: Lionsgate

And he’s very familiar with the franchise, as it turns out: It’s Francis Lawrence, whose filmography also includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 and Part 2.

Given Lawrence’s enthusiasm for all things Hunger Games (in 2015, he was quoted as saying “any time [author] Suzanne Collins wants to tell more stories from the world, sign me up”), this hiring isn’t a big surprise. Frankly, the existence of a Hunger Games prequel movie is also not a big surprise, considering the overwhelming popularity of the original quartet of films; as soon as Collins announced she had a prequel book in the works, you could pretty much assume a new movie would also be on the way.


As we already knew, the prequel is titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which, according to a Lionsgate press release, will also be the title of the film. We also already knew that it would focus on a young Coriolanus Snow, decades before he became Panem’s evil president and Katniss Everdeen’s nemesis.


Lionsgate shared a few more details about the production (other returnees from previous films will include producer Nina Jacobson and screenwriter Michael Arndt; Collins herself will write the screenplay treatment), and the plot:

The film will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games… only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.

We’ll find out a lot more about the book when it’s released May 19; as of yet, there’s no news on casting or when we might expect to see the world of The Hunger Games back on the big screen.

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