The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes trailer features first look at young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) in action in the prequel. Donald Sutherland played Snow in the four previous The Hunger Games movies.
The official Lionsgate synopsis for The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes reads:
“Experience the story of The Hunger Games — 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a postwar Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. 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 Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Director Francis Lawrence Breaks Down the New Trailer
In addition to Blyth and Zegler, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes also stars Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman, and Viola Davis. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Francis Lawrence — who directed three of the previous Hunger Games movies — breaks down the trailer's Easter eggs. The prequel reveals that the song “The Hanging Tree” sung by Katniss Everdeen in Mockingjay — Part 1 originated from Lucy Gray. “She's a performer,” Lawrence says about Lucy. “After witnessing a man being hanged for multiple murders, she crafts ‘The Hanging Tree,' which is, of course, 65 years later in these stories a song we hear Katniss singing. So this is a song that's been passed down through generations of people in District 12.” He continues:
“[The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes] traverses much more ground and covers much more emotional territory and tells a larger narrative than just the games themselves. If you've just seen the other movies with Donald Sutherland and how he reacts to District 12, you would never think that he'd actually spent a fair amount of time there himself as a Peacekeeper.”
Game of Thrones actor Dinklage plays Casca Highbottom, a school dean who unwittingly creates the Hunger Games. “Some of Peter's scenes are some of my favorites in the movie,” say Lawrence. “I wanted to work with him for so long. He came in and blew everybody away.”
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes opens in theaters on November 17.
Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.