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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Will Be “Grittier” Than the Other Movies

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Eight years after the Hunger Games franchise was last on the big screen, the world of Panem is finally making a return to theaters. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to the other Hunger Games stories, following Coriolanus Snow when he was much younger and just getting involved in the Games. While this new movie takes place in the same world and timeline as the previous films, it will have a much different tone.

Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four original Hunger Games movies, participated in a Q&A about The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes after the film’s first footage debuted at CinemaCon. He explained that this story will be even “grittier” than the Hunger Games tales we’re used to.

“One of the things that really interested me in the novel itself was just the scope of the story,” Lawrence said. “And the fact that it’s an origin story not just of a character that we all know from the other series, but the origin of Panem and the origin of the Games. To be able to go back and kind of revisit what the Capital might look like not long after a war in this reconstruction era.”

“It felt fresh, and it felt new, and the tone is different, and I think the tone is a little grittier and I would even say a little more somehow authentic,” Lawrence added.

Producer Nina Jacobson also opened up about the tone and setting of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, explaining what sets it apart from the first four Hunger Games movies.

“The first books were really like during the Forever Wars, you know, the endless struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan and the consequences of those wars. And the ascension of American Idol and reality television,” Jacobson said.

She went on to say that the new movie is “deeply steeped in the mythology of the original books and movies,” but that it “doesn’t feel like it’s trying to duplicate. It’s sort of striking out on really new ground, and also completely different visual language, because it’s a period movie.”

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to hit theaters on November 17th.

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