Hunger Games prequel movie gets first teaser trailer

The Hunger Games prequel movie, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has its first teaser trailer. 

The movie will be based on Suzanne Collins' novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which was published in 2020. Set over 60 years before the first Hunger Games novel, it follows an 18-year-old from the Capitol (Benediction's Tom Blyth), who would later go on to become President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland in the original movies). He's tasked with mentoring one of the Games' tributes, Lucy Gray Baird (West Side Story's Rachel Zegler), but as their fates become entwined, things start to get complicated. 

The newly released teaser doesn't give much away about the movie – it shows a frozen bird and snake in the branches of a snow-covered tree. The ice slowly melts around them and the creatures begin to move – and the snake pounces on the bird. "You're invited to return to the Games," the trailer's text reads. "In 2023, the world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake."

Francis Lawrence, who helmed the last three movies in the original quartet (Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1, and Mockingjay – Part 2), will direct the prequel, while Hunger Games author Collins is on board as one of the film's screenwriters. 

The first Hunger Games movie was released in 2012. Set in a dystopian future version of the US called Panem, each year one boy and one girl from each of the nation's districts must take part in the annual Hunger Games as punishment for past uprisings against the Capitol. The Games are a televised competition in which the adolescent "tributes" must fight to the death. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks starred in the franchise.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives on the big screen on November 17, 2023. In the meantime, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about, this year and beyond. 

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.