The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes gets its first look, with a new image, originally shared by vanity fair (opens in a new tab)giving us our first look at main characters Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler).
The pair are lying on a picnic blanket in what appears to be an idyllic scene, and judging by its seemingly contemporary appearance, the prequel will be far less dystopian than the original Hunger Games movies.
The film will be based on Suzanne Collins’ novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which was published in 2020. Set more than 60 years before the first Hunger Games novel, it follows an 18-year-old from the Capitol (Blyth), who would later become President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland in the original films). He is tasked with mentoring one of the Games’ tributes, Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), but as their fates intertwine, things start to get complicated.
“This is very much a love story,” director Francis Lawrence told Vanity Fair. “It’s this kind of love story set in a different world at a different time.” The film’s cast also includes Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, and Jason Schwartzman.
Lawrence also directed the last three films of the original quartet (On fire, Mockingjay – Part 1, Y Mockingjay – Part 2), while The Hunger Games author Collins is on board as one of the film’s screenwriters.
The first Hunger Games movie was released in 2012. Set in a dystopian future version of the USA called Panem, each year one boy and one girl from each of the nation’s districts must participate in the Hunger Games. Annual famines as punishment for past uprisings against the Capitol. The Games are a televised competition in which teenage “tributes” must fight to the death.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set for release on November 17, 2023. In the meantime, check out our guide for the rest of this year’s most exciting movie release dates.