When the outstanding Hunger Games franchise concluded in 2015, fans said an emotional farewell to brave heroine Katniss Everdeen. As the old saying goes: all good things must come to an end. With three books and four feature films, The Hunger Games went from strength to strength and ended in a blaze of glory that would live on in fans’ minds for years to come. Since its conclusion, whisperings of a prequel reached a fever pitch, and this suspicion was confirmed when Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins released the novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in 2020. Soon, it was confirmed a movie adaptation would follow. Set 64 years before the events of the first Hunger Games installment, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes centers on District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird as she’s selected to compete in the Games, and her familiar mentor Coriolanus Snow, who would go on to become the most evil president in Panem’s history.
Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) stars as District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird, and Tom Blyth (Billy the Kid) stars as her mentor – and future president of Panem – Coriolanus Snow. Joining them is Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) as head gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul, Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Hunger Games creator Casca Highbottom, and Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) as Coriolanus’ cousin Tigris Snow. Also in the cast is Jason Schwartzman (Asteroid City) as Lucky Flickerman, Josh Andres Rivera (West Side Story) as troubled mentor Sejanus Plinth, Fionnula Flanagan (The Others) as Grandma’am Snow, Burn Gorman (The Expanse) as the leader of District 12’s peacekeepers Commander Hoff, and Ashley Liao (Fuller House) as Coriolanus’ classmate Clemensia Dovecote.
Keep reading to find out how you can watch The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.
- Release Date
- November 17, 2023
- Francis Lawrence
- Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth, Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman, Burn Gorman, Fionnula Flanagan
- 165 minutes
- Main Genre
- Michael Lesslie, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins
When Is ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Coming to Movie Theaters?
Most of the world will see the hotly anticipated Hunger Games prequel in theaters on that date, but fans in some locations will have to wait a little longer. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be released in Italy on November 22, Lithuania on November 24, and Japan on December 22.
‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Showtimes
You can use the links below to check out ticket availability and showtimes near you:
Watch ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Trailer
First Trailer for ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’
Lionsgate Movies released the first trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in April 2023. The two-minute-long video currently sits at over 21 million views, a testament to the sheer number of fans looking forward to diving back into the Hunger Games franchise. The trailer begins with the sadistic Games creator Casca Highbottom explaining that, this year, he wants the children turned into “spectacles, not survivors.” Fans of the original Hunger Games movies will notice a stark difference in the showmanship and production value of the Games. Lucy Gray Baird’s introduction to the Capitol is a far cry from Katniss Everdeen’s star-studded debut, and it seems Casca – along with head game maker Dr. Gaul – are instrumental in paving the way to the Hunger Games becoming a country-wide spectator sport. Additionally, the trailer gives us a brief look at the complex relationship between Snow and Lucy Gray. As the young and impressionable Snow falls deeper into the Capitol’s brutal and classist way of life, his fragile connection to District 12’s Lucy sees him futilely clinging to the last shreds of his humanity.
Second Trailer for ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’
A second trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released in September 2023 by Lionsgate Movies. In it, we see more of the early experiences that shaped Snow into Panem’s unflinching president. The conditioning of the Capitol’s citizens begins early, with a brief scene at Snow’s prestigious school showing that the Hunger Games are seen as a necessary punishment for the people in the districts. Going off the trailers, it seems The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will prove a faithful adaptation of the book, like the previous Hunger Games movies before it.
When Is ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Coming to Streaming and VOD?
When Will ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Stream?
There’s no news just yet about when you’ll be able to stream The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but we expect it’ll be available to watch on the small screen in early 2024.
Where Will ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Stream?
The movie’s distribution company, Lionsgate, gives us a pretty good idea of where exactly you’ll be able to watch The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes when it’s available to stream. Lionsgate movies – including the entire Hunger Games collection – are currently streaming on Hulu with monthly plans starting at $7.99. Following a recent streaming deal between Peacock and Lionsgate, it’s also possible the movie will eventually land on that platform in 2024.
What Is the Background of ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’?
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is based on the 2020 novel by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins. While the novel serves as the book series’ fourth installment, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie serves as the on-screen franchise’s fifth installment due to Francis Lawrence’s choice to split Mockingjay into two parts.
‘The Hunger Games’ Books In Release Order
- The Hunger Games (2008)
- Catching Fire (2009)
- Mockingjay (2010)
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020)
‘The Hunger Games’ Movies In Release Order
- The Hunger Games (2012)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)
Fans will be familiar with Katniss Everdeen’s story of survival, which began in 2012’s The Hunger Games and concluded in 2015’s Mockingjay – Part 2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to these events and takes place 64 years earlier. Like Katniss Everdeen, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ protagonist, Lucy Gray, is an impoverished District 12 citizen forced to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.
Movies Like ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ That You Can Watch Right Now
The Hunger Games (2012) – Where better to start than the original? Jennifer Lawrence stars in her breakout role as 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a District 12 girl who finds herself in the Hunger Games after volunteering to take the place of her younger sister. Using her sharp wits and finely honed survival skills, Katniss faces off against bloodthirsty tributes from wealthier areas of Panem while trying to work out the true motivations of District 12’s male tribute, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).
Watch on Peacock
Battle Royale (2000) – The blueprint for The Hunger Games – and many on-screen productions like it – Battle Royale is a Japanese-language action thriller. The movie takes place in the aftermath of a recession, at a time when juvenile delinquency is becoming a vastly spreading problem. Under the guise of solving the problem, the government rounds up a selection of ninth-grade students, ships them off to a remote island, and forces them to fight to the death until only one victor remains.
Watch on Amazon Freevee
Divergent (2014) – Another popular movie franchise based on a YA novel series, Divergent is set in an alternate future in which people are divided into “factions” based on their core virtues and personalities. After turning 16, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is tested to determine which faction she’s destined to belong to. To her shock, she’s categorized as a dangerous Divergent, unable to fit into the perfect society. Soon, Tris learns her survival is at risk when she discovers a secret plot to wipe out the Divergents.
Rent on Prime Video
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