As of April 28, 2023, The Hunger Games fans have been taken back to 2015. Lionsgate finally dropped the long-anticipated trailer for the prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Fans have already started depicting the two-minute and 48-second trailer, discovering casting decisions, familiar music tracks, and emotional parallels.
This prequel hits home for many Hunger Games fans and has a lot of book standards to uphold. The film will be in theaters on November 17, 2023. With one of the biggest fandoms in the universe of movie franchises, Francis Lawrence needs to bring drama, action, and nostalgia to the table.
Unpacking the Trailer
Although the original cast, consisting of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth as the big three, was iconic—this film is a completely different story.
Within the world of the 10th Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus Snow, who was once an enemy in the previous trilogy, mentoring a girl from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird.
Coriolanus Snow portrays the once-rich and prestigious advisor who is in it to gain pride. However, Lucy Gray Baird is a rebellious, traveling musician who is in it for revenge and eventually love.
Who is Playing Who?
As we can see, Tom Blyth has been casted as young Coriolanus Snow with Rachel Zegler casted as Lucy Gray Baird, revealing our two main characters. Fans of the franchise are extremely happy with these two choices, since Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth fit their book descriptions perfectly.
For the other characters, the trailer reveals Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow (a huge win), Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul (another huge win), Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, and Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius ‘Lucky’ Flickerman. With many other book-to-film adaptations, casting is key. Let’s just say—they killed it.
Oh, Our Little Teen Dystopian Hearts!
One of the astounding aspects of the new trailer are the parallels to the original trilogy. The writers room for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was definitely thinking of the fans while exploring different concepts. Although there is a book for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, there has been mass speculation that certain decisions may differ from it.
Many fans on TikTok have pointed out a few bone-chilling parallels between Katniss Everdeen and Lucy Gray Baird. One of those being, Katniss’ bow during her evaluation and Lucy’s bow during her reaping. This parallel was one for the books (literally), potentially explaining why Snow despised Katniss—because she reminded him of Lucy.
The parallels don’t stop there and won’t stop at the trailer, considering we are seeing so many in such short clips from the movie. We can also see parallels between Lucy and Katniss walking to the stage at their reaping and them having the same bow and arrow. The last parallel is what’s convincing fans that Katniss and Lucy have some sort of relation: the fact that the song ‘The Hanging Tree’ was written by Lucy, previously sung by Katniss in spite of the capitol. Fans are especially excited to hear and see Lucy/Rachel Zelger sing ‘The Hanging Tree’ live in the movie.
Songbirds, Snakes, and What?
Prior to the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes trailer, The Hunger Games was already re-appearing on various social media platforms. It is easy to say that this film will create even more chaos within the Hunger Games fandom.
The original dystopian movies (The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner) have a key to Gen Z’s hearts. Hopefully, this new, yet nostalgic, film will finally bring dystopian movies back.
Although, nothing will ever compare to the 2015 dystopian era—dutch braids, Dylan O’Brien, mockingjay pins, and wanting to be a Dauntless in Divergent.
From exceptional casting to sentimental parallels, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is going to change The Hunger Games fandom’s lives. It is rare to have an upcoming film exceed preconceived expectations just through a trailer, and The Hunger Games franchise did it again. The countdown has now begun for fans anticipating the film’s release. Let’s just hope the film matches the trailer’s energy and impact!
The only question left is … where’s the Taylor Swift soundtrack?