Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, which consisted of “The Hunger Games”, “Catching Fire”, and “Mockingjay”, became some of the most popular YA novels in recent times, so naturally, they were quickly adapted into a series of big-screen movies which starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. The series is set in Panem, a dystopian North American country which consists of a wealthy Capital which rules over twelve poorer districts. Each year, children from the various districts are selected to take part in a televised battle royale known as The Hunger Games.
It was announced last year that Suzanne Collins was working on a prequel novel which would bring us back to the world of Panem. Taking place 64 years before the beginning of “The Hunger Games,” Collins said that she “wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.” Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we finally know who the protagonist of the new novel will be, and it’s probably not who you expected. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will follow Coriolanus Snow, the man who will eventually become President Snow, the sadistic ruler of Panem and the main villain of original series. EW states that during this new novel, Coriolanus Snow is “a teenager born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know he will become. Here, he’s friendly. He’s charming. And, for now anyway, he’s a hero.” Curious. Donald Sutherland played President Snow in THE HUNGER GAMES movies. You can read an excerpt from the upcoming novel in the EW link above.
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As THE HUNGER GAMES movies were major successes for Lionsgate, you’d be right to expect that the studio would be keen to transform this new novel into a feature-film. When the novel was first announced last year, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake said, “As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.” The new novel is set to be released on May 19, 2020.