Hunger Games Prequel Moving Forward With Mockingjay Director

A Hunger Games prequel based on upcoming novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is officially in development, with Francise Lawrence returning to direct.

The Hunger Games movies were record-breaking smash hits, receiving critical and audience adulation. But since The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 closed out the story back in 2015, we’ve heard only whispers about future installments. Until now, that is.

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THR is reporting that Lionsgate is officially reuniting with Catching Fire and Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence for a prequel. This will adapt Suzanne Collins’ soon-to-be-released novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, due to hit shelves on May 19th, 2020. The book is set 64 years before the events of the previous movies, around the time of the Dark Days. At the core of the story will be the aftereffects of the war, in which the citizens of Panem try to reassemble a new society that will eventually give birth to the Hunger Games.

The focus of the story will reportedly be a younger version of the villainous President Coriolanus Snow, as played by Donald Sutherland in the movies. At this point in Snow’s life, he’ll be a hero, so our knowledge of his eventual fate should create an atmosphere not too dissimilar from Anakin in the Star Wars prequels (though hopefully a bit better executed).

Right now, we only have confirmation that one prequel is in development, though I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the events of the book were split into two films, Mockingjay style. Beyond that, Collins may well release further prequel novels that could continue Snow’s gradual descent into villainy and bring us closer to the formation of the games as we saw them in the first movie.

We’ll have a much better idea of the structure of this Hunger Games prequel when The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes releases next month. Here’s hoping though that the fact that we know the end of President Snow’s story doesn’t lower the stakes for the characters too much.

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David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!