In 2012, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) voluntarily took her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games in a fight to the death while President Snow (Donald Sutherland) presided over all things evil.
In the years that followed, three more successful films, which also starred Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, continued to be some of the most popular teenage films — with a legion of fans flocking to every screening.
Now, with the success of the Hunger Games franchise, which is based on a series of novels by Suzanne Collins, a prequel called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is in the works.
Announced by Lionsgate Films, the movie-house has optioned the film rights for the forthcoming novel, which will be released on May 19.
The story will centre around 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Sutherland) when being the future dictator of Panem was all but a distant future.
“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,” the plot summary reads.
While there is no word yet on casting, Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three films — Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Mockingjay Part 2 — is on board to direct.
Collins will write the film’s treatment, while Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt will adapt the screenplay and producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson will return with Collins also serving as Executive Producer.
“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. “From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honouring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera,” Collins said in a statement.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake also said that “Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait”.
“It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is creatively thrilling and takes this world to complex new dimensions that open up amazing cinematic possibilities. We’re thrilled to reunite this filmmaking team with this very unique franchise, and we can’t wait to begin production,” he said in a statement.
While we may not see Katniss again, a film based on the evolution of President Snow could be, if not more, exciting than the first few films.