Here's How The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Connects to Hunger Games

Here's How The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Connects to Hunger Games
Image credit: Lionsgate

We are in for a powerful trip down memory lane.

November 17th is fast approaching, and with it comes the premiere of the highly anticipated The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, much to the delight of all fans of the Panem universe.

The prequel to the original franchise, which rocked pop culture with its four installments from 2012 to 2015, is set to take long-time viewers on a powerful nostalgic journey. That's because of many connections, some more obvious than others, to The Hunger Games film series.

The original director returns

The story of The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will take place 60 years before the events of the first movie, which means none of the beloved original cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, will be returning.

However, the prequel has director Francis Lawrence, who made three original films, Catching Fire and Mockingjay - Part 1 and Part 2, which means fans can expect plenty of references and nods to the beloved franchise.

Recently, in his interview with EW, Lawrence broke down some of the original franchise Easter eggs shown in the recent trailer for his new film.

White Roses

The upcoming film will center around Coriolanus Snow, known to all fans as the tyrannical ruler of Panem at the time when Katniss Everdeen first set foot in the Capitol. Donald Sutherland's character was villain fodder, but the prequel takes a fresh look at his journey.

Played by Tom Blyth, the 18-year-old Coriolanus is shown as a peacekeeper from District 12 and the 10th Hunger Games mentor to the tribute from that region, Lucy Gray Baird. But even at this young age, Coriolanus has quirks that any Hunger Games fan will recognize.

One such nod to his older self is the white roses. In the trailer, he gives one to Lucy. And apparently, the new movie will explore Snow's love for the flower. What became an ominous sign of danger in Coriolanus' older years was originally a reflection of his love for his late mother.

'It's part of the fun of being able to tell a story like this. We get to dive into the origins of elements we're familiar with,' Lawrence told EW.

'It's the things we love most that destroy us'

Another big nod to the older Coriolanus Snow is the famous phrase repeated in the trailer. If in the original film series it sounded like a chilling threat, in the prequel it hints at how Snow's own story will unfold.

'It perfectly fit the themes and mysteries of the movie that we were making, but also connecting young Snow with the Snow we're familiar with,' Lawrence said.

The Hanging Tree

The famous Katniss song also found its way into the new trailer. This time, it is sung by Lucy actress Rachel Zegler, and according to the director, it is not just a trick to attract original fans. In fact, it was Lucy who wrote the song.

'After witnessing a man being hanged for multiple murders, she crafts “The Hanging Tree,”' Lawrence said. 'So this is a song that's been passed down through generations of people in District 12.'

Source: EW.