The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence has been speaking exclusively to Vanity Fair about how his prequel to that blockbusting saga The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is essentially a love story between Tom Blyth’s Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird, and the first look image he shared from the film is testament to that.
Lawrence, who steered the Jennifer Lawrence headlined adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ original novels to $2.97 billion at the worldwide box-office, tells Vanity Fair that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a “love story set in a different kind of a world in a different time” and that while it will touch upon a little of Katniss Everdeen’s history, the primary focus is on what caused Blyth’s Coriolanus Snow to go all Vader and become Panem’s chief villain.
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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will star Tom Blyth (Billy The Kid), Rachel Zegler (West Side Story), Hunter Schafer (Euphoria), Jason Schwartzman (The French Dispatch), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Viola Davis (The Suicide Squad), Josh Andrés Rivera (West Side Story), Ashley Liao (Physical), Knox Gibson (Forgive Us Our Trespasses), Aamer Husain (Hudson & Rex), Mackenzie Lansing (Mare of Easttown), Nick Benson (Big Shot), Laurel Marsden (Ms. Marvel), Lilly Cooper (The Witcher), Luna Steeples (Overdue), Hiroke Berrecloth (Red Rose), Zoe Renee (Jinn), Kaitlyn Akinpelumi (The School of Good and Evil), Ayomide Adegun (The Continental), Max Raphael (Slaughterhouse Rulez) and newcomers Sofia Sanchez, Amelie Hoeferle and Jerome Lance.
Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is 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 (Rachel Zegler), 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 Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives in cinemas on November 17th, 2023.