At the end of its CinemaCon presentation, Lionsgate featured a teaser for the return of its most successful film franchise, “The Hunger Games,” which will get a prequel installment on November 17, 2023.
The prequel, titled “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” is based on the novel of the same name written by series creator Suzanne Collins will follow Coriolanus Snow, the future tyrannical leader of the nation of Panem, when he was just 18 years old.
As one of the top students of Panem’s Academy, a school for the country’s elite, Snow is selected as a mentor for Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute selected to compete in the Hunger Games for District 12, the home of Snow’s future adversary Katniss Everdeen. As he trains Lucy, the two grow close together, leading Snow on an unexpected rise to power as he fights to make sure Lucy wins the Hunger Games at any cost.
Francis Lawrence will return to direct and produce his fourth “Hunger Games” film, having previously directed the sequels “Catching Fire” and both installments of the series’ conclusion “Mockingjay.” Michael Arndt, who co-wrote the film adaptation of “Catching Fire,” returns to adapt “Songbirds and Snakes” with Collins and Michael Lesslie.
Collins will also serve as executive producer with Tim Palen, with series producer Nina Jacobson returning to produce with partner Brad Simpson.
“The Hunger Games” series comprises four of the top 5 highest grossing films in Lionsgate history, grossing $2.95 billion at the global box office from 2012 to 2015, with “Catching Fire” holding the studio record with $864 million grossed globally in 2013.