There’s a release date for the Hunger Games prequel film so it’s time to start whipping out those Katniss braids and reignite your crush on Josh Hutcherson. Teem Peeta forever, don’t even try it.

If it’s fallen out of your brain sometime over the last two years, the prequel film was announced back in April 2020. It’s based on the book The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes which came out the same year.

Because it’s a prequel our main characters Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch and (ugh) Gale most likely won’t be returning. But look, some new characters to project onto!

What is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows the youth of our fave evil white-haired megalomaniac President Coriolanus Snow (played by Donald Sutherland in the OG films).

It’s centred around the 10th Hunger Games, well before Katniss’s participation in the 74th Games. No spoilers but as you can imagine, the Games took place a lil differently in the early years.

Snow is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Bird, the tribute for District 12.

The book unpacks some of the ~lore~ of the Hunger Games world which is especially juicy if you’re a massive worldbuilding nerd like me.

An official film synopsis has been released, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

It says “in this return to The Hunger Games, years before he would become the President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow sees a chance for a change in fortunes when he’s chosen to mentor a young tribute from District 12.”

I’m hooked, lined and sinkered.

Who is making The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

In great news for fans of the OG film series, Francis Lawrence will be directing the prequel. He directed Catching Fire and Mockingjay parts one and two.

Series’ author Suzanne Collins as well as Michael Arndt (who won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine) and Michael Lesslie (Assassin’s Creed) will write the film according to Deadline.

Arndt was part of the writing team for Catching Fire which we all know is the best Hunger Games film. So I have high hopes.

When is the The Hunger Games prequel coming out?

The most concrete piece of info we got from CinemaCon in Las Vegas on April 28th was a release date for the film. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be dropping on November 17 2023.

Who’ll star in the film?

Playing the lead role is West Side Story star Rachel Zegler. She’ll be joined by Euphoria star Hunter Schafer who will play Tigris Snow, “Coriolanus’s cousin and confidante, who advises him in everything – from his role as mentor to the core of his moral compass,” per Deadline.

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, but a teaser just premiered at the 2022 MTV Awards!

Have a peek below:

Colour me intrigued.

So look, we don’t have too long to wait before diving back into the world of The Hunger Games. We’ll keep you posted when more details drop. Surely we can get another Lorde single for the soundtrack too? Let’s really live our 2014 fantasy.