The Hunger Games prequel movie lands the longest runtime of the series

The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The Hunger Games prequel film The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will be the longest in the franchise. 

The movie, which is set 64 years before the original films, has clocked a runtime of 156 minutes and 59 seconds. This is 10 minutes longer than Catching Fire, which was the previous holder in the lengthy Hunger Games franchise. 

It seems there will be a lot of story to cover with The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which is based on Suzanne Collins' novel. It follows a young Coriolanus Snow (played by Tom Blyth) who thinks becoming a mentor for the 10th annual Hunger Games may save his crumbling family legacy. 

However, when he meets his mentee, Rachel Zegler's Lucy Gray Baird, everything gets a bit more complicated. Alongside Blyth and Zegler, the film also stars Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman, Hunter Schafer, and Viola Davis.

The latest film in the franchise is directed again by Francis Lawrence, who helmed all the other movies apart from the first. Inside the new issue of Total Film, he teased a bit about the darkness ahead in the prequel

"We start in a very different place with Snow," he says in the issue that hits newsstands on Thursday, October 12. "We see a young man who’s struggling, and who’s part of a family that’s lost their fortune. He’s putting on an act that he still has money, still has status. He also starts in a much more positive place than you would imagine. It’s part of what’s fun about the story, that you see him break bad."

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes opens in cinemas on November 17. For more upcoming movies, check out our 2023 movie release dates guide.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.