A 'Hunger Games' prequel is in the works: here's what fantasy fans need to know

Who's ready for 'The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'?

DONALD SUTHERLAND as corilanus snow in the hunger games movies
(Image credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

Craving a dose of dystopia? The Hunger Games prequel will oblige. 

During the MTV Movie & TV Awards 2022, viewers were treated to sneak peeks of upcoming films and series: Where the Crawdads Sing, Selling The OC and most importantly to fantasy fans, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. (Check it out below.) 

"The most rewarding moment on the movie [The Hunger Games] was the first time I saw it put together, still in rough form, and thinking it worked," author Suzanne Collins told The New York Times in 2018. 

It worked so well that readers and viewers are craving more more from the esteemed writer. Luckily, her love for mythology and desire to keep her fans entertained has gifted us with a prequel. The only thing we're not pleased about? The wait time. 

The 'Hunger Games' prequel

Based on the novel of the same name, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place roughly 60 years before the Hunger Games universe as we know it. The tale follows President Snow's origins. 

What can we expect? We'll have a glimpse at Snow's mentoring during the Panem’s 10th annual Hunger Games, where he is paired with the singing District 12 long shot, Lucy Gray Baird.

How will this all play out in his quest towards fortune and fame? Will Lucy's incessant singing be detrimental...or helpful? You'll have to read and watch to find out how it all unfolds.

If you're looking for an adventurous beach read this summer, you've come to the right place. (Speaking of which, if you're wondering, "What should I read next," the 2022 releases will keep you occupied.) 


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
: $13.99, £14.39

The 'Hunger Games' prequel movie cast

Rachel Zegler is moving on from Harlem to Panem for her role as Lucy Gray Baird in the Hunger Games prequel. 

“When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills," Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group told Deadline

rachel Zegler attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2022 at Royal Albert Hall on March 13, 2022 in London, England

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage))

Tom Blyth of Billy the Kid will do the honors of playing a young Coriolanus Snow. 

"I have to try and not think about [my roles] as enormous, otherwise I get in my head about them, but I feel very honored to be trusted with these incredible roles," he said at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. 

FYI, President Snow as we know him—pre-prequel— is played by Donald Sutherland. 

tom blyth at the mtv movie & tv awards 2022

(Image credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The heavyweights at Lionsgate have been mum about other castings and first looks, but we'll surely keep you up to date until the film hits screens. In the meantime, we highly suggest getting lost in the literary Hunger Games universe—it's the best way to prep for what's coming to theaters.

The 'Hunger Games' prequel movie release date

Talk about a tease: first looks and details are exciting, but the wait time is not: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes won't arrive in theaters until November 23, 2023, so patience is of the utmost importance. May the odds be ever in your favor. 

In the meantime, stream The Hunger Games films on Peacock. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.