Lionsgate’s adaption of Susan Collins’ THE HUNGER GAMES series was a big success for the studio and the story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) came to a close with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, but we haven’t seen the last of the nation of Panem. Susan Collins released a prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, last year, and Lionsgate wasted little time in adapting the new story for the big screen.
During a recent quarterly earnings call, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president Joe Drake revealed that the Hunger Games prequel movie is “moving along really, really well” in pre-production and will start shooting in the first half of 2022. This means that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes could be released in theaters in late 2023 or early 2024. The prequel will focus on a young Coriolanus Snow before he became the tyrannical President of Panem. “Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming,” reads the official synopsis, “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.” The character was memorably played by Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games movies, but it’s not yet clear who will be playing the younger version of the character.
Susan Collins will pen the treatment for The Hunger Games prequel movie, with Michael Arndt writing the screenplay. It was announced last year that Francis Lawrence, who directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & Part 2, would be returning to helm The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I can’t fault Lionsgate for wanting to return to one of their biggest franchises, but they’ll really have to go the extra mile in order to make it work without franchise star Jennifer Lawrence.