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Will The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes get a sequel?

Well, other than the original Hunger Games trilogy

Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow, dressed in the crisp uniform of a Peacekeeper in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Image: Lionsgate
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Blockbuster movies seem guaranteed to produce sequels, and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes naturally falls into that category.

The prequel to the already established Hunger Games movie franchise, starring Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, and Josh Andrés Rivera, is already tracking for a successful opening weekend, igniting fan activity, and even reviewing well. So it’s easy to imagine Lionsgate producers looking down the calendar for an opening. But…

Will The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes get a sequel?

Lucy Gray standing in a ruined arena in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Image: Lionsgate

Technically, the four original Hunger Games movies and three Hunger Games novels are all sequels to Songbirds & Snakes. But in a more literal sense, no: Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games books, hasn’t written another book in the series since Songbirds & Snakes.

Collins explained why she returned to the Hunger Games setting for one more book in an interview with Scholastic in 2020.

“I have two worlds, the Underland (the world of The Underland Chronicles series) and Panem (the world of The Hunger Games). I use both of them to explore elements of just war theory. When I find a related topic that I want to examine, then I look for the place it best fits.”

The topic that inspired The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes was, according to Collins, the Enlightenment-era debate of the “state of nature,” and the way in which societies form and create laws and customs. It’s easy to see how that concept led to the idea of a book about how the Hunger Games transformed from a totalitarian tool into entertainment. In the same interview, Collins also noted that the story allowed her to dive deeper into the history of Panem that her original trilogy had to brush lightly over, where Katniss Everdeen knows there have only been four Hunger Games victors from District 12 in the Games’ history, but doesn’t seem to know anything about Lucy Gray Baird, the District 12 hero in Songbirds & Snakes.

Could there be a sequel eventually, though?

Collins has no stated plans to write another Hunger Games book — but who knows whether she’ll find inspiration again? There are 75 Hunger Games in the history of the franchise, and so far, Collins has only written about three of them, so there’s still plenty of fictional ground to cover. Songbirds & Snakes itself ends on an open note, with plenty of Coriolanus Snow’s backstory left to explore.

And without another Collins story to adapt, producer Nina Jacobson, who has overseen all five Hunger Games films, is uninterested in continuing the film franchise.

“If [Collins] had a story in this world with something she wanted to talk about, something to explore, then great,” Jacobson told Polygon this summer. “But if not, better to leave a franchise as something people feel fondly about rather than crank out a sequel for the sake of a sequel.

“Suzanne, the originator and North Star of everything that we try to do with these books, she doesn’t write just to make money,” Jacobson says. “She writes when she has something to say.”

So with a decade of time between Collins writing the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy and writing Songbirds & Snakes, we wouldn’t expect a further prequel installment any time soon.

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