It’s been quite some time since The Hunger Games kicked off a tsunami of young adult film adaptations, and that wave crashed hard, leaving the genre stagnant for years. However, Lionsgate is hoping they can bring the YA scene back again with the release of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel film based on the prequel novel of the same name. With the second trailer dropping today we finally get a good look the young President Snow and hints as to why he turned into the evil ruler that he did (it’s love, it’s always love).
The film focuses on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), the future-toppled tyrant of Panem, whose family has fallen from grace after the wars that led to the Hunger Games. Struggling to find his place in the Capitol and with the 10th Hunger Games approaching, Snow is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the 12th district, where evidently all the most rebellious tributes come from. Joining her, the idealistic young Snow sees a way to change things but, as we already know, that doesn’t exactly play out all that well. You can watch the trailer below.
It’s really interesting to see how director franchise director Francis Lawrence has moved Panem 64 years into the past, giving everything a retro vibe like it’s the 1950s while still making it into a world of its own. The film may seem to be retreading old territory as we have another outspoken female protagonist coming from District 12 to fight the power but given both the fact that we know Snow turns out evil and that the Hunger Games do not, in fact, end there’s plenty of new area to tread here. The screenplay from Michael Lesslie, developed off an early draft by Michael Arndt, will hopefully give us a taste of something new this time around.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will release on November 17.