New Hunger Games Prequel Movie Features The Villain As The Hero

The Hunger Games director returning for a prequel film about, of all things, young President Snow.

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A prequel to the hugely popular Hunger Games series has been in development for some time, and we finally know the title and the film's director. It's been reported that the movie will be titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and will be directed by series veteran Francis Lawrence. The film is set to follow the younger version of villainous President Snow, as he mentors a female Hunger Games tribute from District 12.

In case you somehow missed out on The Hunger Games, the books and films follow Katniss Everdeen, a teenager from the poverty-stricken District 12--a portion of the United States set in the dystopian future. In the first book, she competes in a fight to the death against other children from around the country and winds up starting a revolution against Snow.

Now, Francis Lawrence--who directed three of the four Hunger Games movies--will return to bring The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to life, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the film--and the book it's based on, which will be released on May 19--an 18-year-old Snow will attempt to guide a District 12 child of his own to victory in the 10th annual Hunger Games. For perspective on the timeline here, the first Hunger Games Katniss participated in was the 74th.

Given that the new film will be set nearly 65 years before the first Hunger Games film, don't expect any cast members to return. However, in addition to Lawrence, producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are back on board. Additionally, Suzanne Collins--who wrote the books--will pen a treatment of the film. Michael Arndt, who served as a writer on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will adapt the screenplay.

There is no production start or release date for the film just yet. As reported by THR, that will be the next step once the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic ends and it's deemed safe for film and TV crews to return to work.

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