Hunger Games Prequel Novel Headed to the Big Screen

The time has come once more to volunteer as tribute.

On May 19th, 2020, Suzanne Collins will release the latest novel of her worldwide phenomenon series, The Hunger Games. A prequel to the original trilogy, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will take place sixty-four years prior to the day Katniss Everdeen took her sister's place.

Here is the synopsis from publisher Scholastic, Inc.:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Fans were very surprised to see the villain they'd had come to know as President Snow would be the protagonist. Entertainment Weekly provided more insight into what to expect with an excerpt from the novel, along with an exclusive first look at a young Snow, drawn by Charles Chiasso.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group has now announced their plans for a movie adaptation. Its Chairman, Joe Drake, acquired the rights for the original books and seems eager to continue working with the series. He stated, "As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie."

Director of Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2, Francis Lawrence has signed on, along with producer Nina Jacobson. Oscar award-winning screenwriter is Michael Arndt is returning to the franchise as well.

Author Suzanne Collins will be an executive producer on the prequel movie adaptation and expressed her excitement in an interview: "Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book. 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."

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is now available for pre-order. Barnes and Noble is releasing an exclusive edition that includes a reader's group guide and a Q&A with Suzanne Collins and her editor, David Levithan.

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