Everything you should know about The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Birds and Snakes, the new prequel

Over a decade after the first Hunger Games novel hit shelves, a return to its brutal world of survival, betrayal, and Capitol folly is upon us, in the form of a prequel film called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Considering the impact The Hunger Games had, it seems only natural that a prequel would focus on how the dystopian world of Panem—and the Games themselves—came to be. And indeed, Songbirds and Snakes—based on the 2020 novel by Suzanne Collins—is set decades before we ever meet Katniss Everdeen in the original Hunger Games trilogy. But rather than explaining the birth of the Hunger Games, its story follows a young Coriolanus Snow (the tyrannical president previously portrayed by Donald Sutherland) around the time of the 10th annual Hunger Games. (For context, the Games that Katniss volunteers for in the first novel and film are the 74th.)

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