You had to know this was coming when you heard that Suzanne Collins was writing a prequel novel to her wildly popular young adult series, The Hunger GamesAnd now it is: Lionsgate has announced that it will turn Collins’ upcoming prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, into a prequel movie.

Here is the book and movie’s official synopsis:

The film will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games… only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be directed by Francis Lawrence, who previously directed three of The Hunger Games movies, Catching Fire and both parts of Mockingjay. Via press release, here was Collins’ statement on the announcement:

Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book. From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honoring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera.

The four Hunger Games movies earned over $2.9 billion worldwide. While the new film will certainly miss the presence of original star Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games name along should guarantee decent box office. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes novel doesn’t come out until May 19 and it’s already a top seller on Amazon.

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