Lionsgate dropped the first official trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes at CinemaCon, the latest instalment in the popular dystopian franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ series.

A prequel to the events of the Jennifer Lawrence-starring films, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes centres a young Coriolanus Snow, before he would become the big bad President of Panem.

“Fans want to know and see the origins of this story,” said Lionsgate’s Adam Fogelson, vice chair motion picture group at CinemaCon, comparing the film to other blockbuster prequels such as Wicked or Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Francis Lawrence, who helmed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2, directs a cast that includes Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman and Viola Davis.

Per the official logline, “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Blyth) is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird and a snake.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will release in cinemas November 17th, 2023. Watch the trailer below:

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