‘Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Director and Producer Break Down Trailer and Tease Rachel Zegler’s Songs!


The video for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the prequel to “The Hunger Games,” is finally out, and superfans are already analyzing every frame. The movie is based on a book by Suzanne Collins.

It is the first new “Hunger Games” film since 2015 when the first four films in the series came out. Before the video was shown to the public at CinemaCon, it was shown to the press and a small group of superfans at a special event at “The Hunger Games: The Exhibition” on Wednesday night.


Nina Jacobson, who produced all four of the original movies, and Francis Lawrence, who directed all but the first one, were excited to talk to Variety about the trailer’s best parts and give hints about what’s to come.

Tom Blyth plays 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” and Rachel Zegler plays District 12 tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. In the first shot of Zegler’s character Lucy, she makes a sarcastic curtsy, just like Jennifer Lawrence’s character Katniss did in the first Hunger Games movie.

Jacobson says, “It is such a completely unique Lucy moment.” “She is a very different person from Katniss. She does so well on stage. Katniss is not like that at all. This woman loves and lives to be on stage.

To see the link there, the history that she represents, and to think that Katniss Everdeen grew up knowing about Lucy Gray and this moment, it was a great example of how much new ground it covers and how rooted it is in what we’ve seen, but in this backward-looking way.

“I just thought it would be really interesting if we made a story about it so that she might not have thought of it on her own. “She might have heard that this girl did the same thing a long time ago,” Lawrence says.


“We’re also looking for ways to connect it to other movies and things that people like.”But that’s the only thing Katniss and Lucy have in common. Lucy’s love of singing and desire to be on stage are important parts of who she is.

This is shown early in the book when she sings after being picked for the Hunger Games. “One of the least Katniss things ever is to get up there and sing a song,” says Jacobson. “‘I volunteer as tribute’ is a long way from ‘I’m going to get up there, grab the mic, and sing a song.'”

Even though Lucy’s songs aren’t shown in the first video, Jacobson and Lawrence say that when fans finally hear them, they will be amazing.

“The music was made by Dave Cobb, and he is great. His songs stick in your head. You can’t forget them. Jacobson says, “They’re beautiful.” “Rachel would often choose not to use playback and instead just sing the song live. When they said “cut,” people would often start clapping like crazy!”

Those live vocals from the set will be in the finished product, and Jacobson is most excited about one scene in particular: “The big finale moment…un-fucking-believable. Her voice is jaw-dropping.”

“Suzanne Collins is a big fan of country music, and she knows a lot about it. Since District 12 is in West Virginia, we kind of went for an Appalachian sound,” says Lawrence about the movie’s music.

In the new video, you can also see how Jason Schwartzman plays TV host Lucky Flickerman, who is an ancestor of Stanley Tucci’s character Caesar Flickerman.

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There is an obvious similarity, but Jacobson says that Schwartzman brings something unique to the part. “He doesn’t try to be [Stanley Tucci], but there are times when he laughs or moves like him.”

“He was much more developed in the script than he was in the screenplay,” Lawrence says of the first version of Lucky. “We talked, and I told him, ‘Listen, I think the character isn’t being written well enough right now.

But we have many chances to give him depth. If you’re up for it, I’d love your help.”

Schwartzman was happy to take on the task. “I spent a lot of time talking to him about who this guy is, what he becomes, and what he wants,” Lawrence says. “I think he had 50 pages of new ideas and lines for all of his scenes by the end of the day.

He had a great time.” “He spent a lot of time with the writer, Mike Leslie, coming up with his improvised lines,” says Jacobson. “Some of the things that didn’t come from a script just killed me.”


Lucky’s role in making the tributes into a show starts a new era for the Hunger Games. It also adds levels of political strategy that Katniss must learn to master 64 years later.

“It’s so modern that they gave these kids the job of making the Games interesting at a time when the ratings were down and people didn’t want to watch them,” says Jacobson. “It was Snow’s job to get people to watch. She says with a laugh, “I can understand.”

The original movies have been getting a lot of attention lately because they were on Netflix for a short time.

They were only available for one month in March, but during that time, all four pictures were in the Top 10 on the streaming service and made a lot of noise on social media, especially TikTok.

“I was surprised by how many people are just finding them or rediscovering them now that they are on Netflix,” says Jacobson. “It’s been so exciting to see it back in the bloodstream again.”

On Nov. 17, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will be shown for the first time in theaters all over the world.