Last summer, Scholastic announced that Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins had penned The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel to her original saga focused on a young Coriolanus Snow. At the time, Lionsgate, the studio behind the successful film franchise based on the books, expressed interest in eventually adapting the book, in order to, you know, serve a documented fandom and make a lot more money (the original four fils grossed over $2.9 billion worldwide). An adaption was more a matter of when, not if.
Now we have official word: With The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes due out in May, Lionsgate has formally announced plans to adapt the book — and with many of the original Hunger Games quadrilogy team members in tow.
According to a press release, Francis Lawrence, who directed Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Mockingjay Part 2, will return to the direct the film. Collins will write the film’s treatment, and Michael Arndt, the writer of Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, and Catching Fire, will pen the screenplay. Collins also will serve as an executive producer of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, with original producer Nina Jacobson returning as well. Here’s a synopsis:
The film will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games… only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.
“Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book,” said Collins in a statement. “From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honoring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera. It’s such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem. I look forward to collaborating with them and all at Lionsgate as we bring The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to theaters worldwide.”
No release date was announced. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes hits shelves on May 19.
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