The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Producer Teases the Prequel’s ‘Timely’ Themes


  • Producer Nina Jacobson reflects on the timely themes of ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes‘ and explores the nature of human goodness and the role of government in society.
  • The prequel takes viewers back to a desperate time when Coriolanus Snow was a child, emphasizing the impact of his experiences and how they shape his character.
  • The film explores the importance of finding connections and common ground in a polarizing world, challenging assumptions and demonization of others.

The producer behind The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Nina Jacobson, has been reflecting on the real-world relevance of the upcoming film and revealed why the prequel’s themes are “so incredibly timely.” The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a prequel based on the Suzanne Collins 2020 novel of the same title. The upcoming adventure drama stars Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Jason Schwartzman, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Viola Davis, Burn Gorman, and Josh Andrés Rivera.

The latest installment in The Hunger Games film franchise is set over 60 year prior to the events from the previous movies and follows a young Coriolanus Snow (previously played by Donald Sutherland and now by Blyth) mentoring District 12’s female tribute Lucy Gray Baird (played by Zegler).

During a recent interview with Polygon, Jacobson revealed how the upcoming prequel’s “timely” themes have plenty of relevance in today’s world. The producer stated:

“Are we fundamentally good if left to our own devices? Are we fundamentally bad and need the state to keep us in check or we’ll destroy each other? These ideas about how people perceive each other and the government, and what they need based on those perceptions, felt so incredibly timely. And to do it through [The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes protagonist] Coriolanus Snow, somebody we’ve all spent the last four movies hating, felt like a particularly interesting and original approach.”

RELATED: Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Includes Shocking Bloodbath, New Posters Released

The Prequel Takes Us Back to a Desperate Time When Coriolanus Snow Was a Child

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Jacobson also revealed some details about the film’s opening scene, stating that The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes begins with a flashback to a time when Coriolanus Snow was a child “and people are literally starving and doing whatever they have to survive during war.”

The producer noted the importance of the scene and its overall impact on the character, stating that, “It’s an essential part of who he is and who he becomes.” Jacobson wrapped things up by sharing her final thoughts on the film’s storyline saying:

“When you are living in a polarizing time, it is so much easier to assume difference is hostility and demonize the other. This [story] is about finding connections, and finding out that you might have enormous connections to the last person in the world that you think you’d have anything in common with.”

As with Collins’ prequel, the upcoming film will also examine the relationship between a young Coriolanus and his mentee, Lucy. Previously, while speaking to Empire Magazine, the Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes director, Francis Lawrence, revealed what fans of the franchise can expect from the character Lucy, calling her the “anti-Katniss.”

Lawrence said, “Katniss was an introvert and a survivor. She was quite quiet and stoic, you could almost say [she was] asexual. Lucy Gray is the opposite. She wears her sexuality on her sleeve, [and] she really is a performer.” The filmmaker went on to further highlight the contrast between the two characters, noting that Lucy “Loves crowds. She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people.”

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes hits theaters on November 17th.

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