Hollywood said goodbye to The Hunger Games movies eight years ago when Mockingjay Part 2 brought Katniss Everdeen’s story to a close for good. Following the trilogy, the books' author Suzanne Collins became inspired by Panem once again, and she wrote her 2020 prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Now, this Hunger Games prequel's movie adaptation is finished, and Collins has finally gotten a chance to see it. But, does the author recommend it?
Collins has been rather hands-on in The Hunger Games franchise thus far, serving as a writer and executive producer for the original film starring Jennifer Lawrence. She's remained an executive producer on every installment since. The author has now shared her thoughts on the prequel, saying this:
As the WGA strike has concluded, I’ve been able to view the final cut of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and I’m thrilled to recommend it. The book was an attempt to explore the state of nature debate through the tale of young President Snow while lifting the veil on the origin of the Hunger Games, which were not only designed to punish the districts but to remind the audience of human beings’ essential character.
In a post shared on Twitter’s official The Hunger Games account, Suzanne Collins offered her support for the November release. She also shared her motivations to write President Snow’s origin to begin with, which yes, had the filmmaking team concerned ahead of production starting on the Lionsgate movie. Collins continued, saying this:
Francis Lawrence returns to Panem to helm another insightful and gorgeous interpretation. Although I worked with the film team in developing the script throughout, I was a little nervous when I sat down to watch it realized on the screen. But from the opening shot of a war-torn Capitol, my anxiety melted away. ‘Oh, that’s right,’ I thought. ‘Francis has this.’
Upcoming Book Adaptations
It cannot be easy to see a story Collins surely nauseated over every word for being given another medium, but the author is pleased with how Francis Lawrence adapted the novel. Collins previously shared her feelings on the original films (three of which were directed by Lawrence), and she called them “faithful adaptations.” It sounds like Collins has won the best-case scenario when it comes to book adaptations!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place over 60 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute for the Hunger Games during the tenth Hunger Games. In the prequel, a young Coriolanus Snow is assigned to become the mentor for the District 12 girl of that year, Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird. Unlike Katniss, Lucy is one for spectacle, especially with her love for singing under her belt. Snow uses this to his advantage when she enters the games, but things soon become complicated during Panem’s ruthless games.
The upcoming movie has already received a PG-13 rating for “strong violent content and disturbing material,” perhaps serving as a warning to audiences that the title won’t shy away from the 2020’s novel more raw approach to the early Hunger Games. Although the movie is being released as the SAG-AFTRA strike continues, Lionsgate received an interim agreement to have its actors promote the film. Since then, Zegler has been reveling in posting about the movie, including thanking Collins for her wondrous approval of it.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes hits theaters on November 17.