The reaping is about to commence once again. Lionsgate is now gearing up to adapt Suzanne Collins' forthcoming The Hunger Games prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, for the silver screen, with none other than Francis Lawrence coming on board to direct the film, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Lawrence previously directed all three Hunger Games sequels: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part II. (Gary Ross helmed the first film in the franchise, The Hunger Games.) Lawrence will be working with screenwriter Michael Arndt, Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson, and Collins to bring the prequel to cinematic fruition.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which will be released on Tuesday, May 19, takes readers back in time to when Coriolanus Snow was just 18 years old, long before he'd become Panem's bloodthirsty president. Snow is chosen to be a mentor for the 10th Hunger Games, which he hopes will change his family's fortune, but he is disappointed to discover his mentee is a tribute from District 12 -- the same poor district which produced eventual victors Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and Haymitch Abernathy, but did not traditionally boast many winners of the government-sponsored bloodsport.
Some fans have expressed concerns that Songbird and Snakes might try to cast a sympathetic light on Snow, who was nothing short of a tyrant in The Hunger Games novels and films, but until the book hits shelves, we don't yet know how Collins will present this new portion of the villain's backstory.
For those who want to revisit all four previous films to refresh your memory of the movies, we've volunteered as tribute to bring you some streaming options for The Hunger Games and its sequels.
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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakeshits shelves on Tuesday, May 19. A release date for the film adaptation has not yet been set.