The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is an odd duck—a prequel to the bestselling Hunger Games, but one that focuses Coriolanus Snow, the man who will grow up to be Katniss Everdeen’s nemesis and the fascist president of Panem. But, as Mahvesh Murad wrote in her review, it’s not just about Snow: “It’s also about the evolution of the Games themselves.”
It’ll be interesting to see which aspect of the novel the movie version—from the Catching Fire team of director Francis Lawrence and writer Michael Arndt—leans into more. Though no one’s seen a single frame of the film, it now has a release date: November 17, 2023.
The premiere date was announced at the industry gathering CinemaCon with a baffling sounding little teaser that showed no footage from the film and revealed none of its cast. Variety reports, “The clip panned over striking shots of icy tree branches and a eye-catching gold as text scrolled that reads, ‘The world will discover… who is a songbird… and who is a snake.’”
It’s a funny way to put it, when we know Snow is a snake. It’s possible that Lucy Grey, the young Tribute who Snow is assigned to mentor, might be a bit of both—which makes her sound considerably more interesting than young Snow. Collins’ book was met with a certain amount of skepticism when it was announced, but it went on to sell half a million copies in its first week of release. Not a bad bet for an adaptation, then.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes premieres November 17, 2023.