The Hunger Games movie franchise has been over for seven years now, but those films made a lot of money in theaters, maybe more than you remembered. (Did you realize the four films grossed a combined $2.9 billion worldwide? They did!) So when Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins published a prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, in the summer of 2020, Lionsgate naturally sensed an opportunity to revive one of their most lucrative properties.

Now The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is headed to theaters, and Lionsgate confirmed at CinemaCon this week that the film will open in time for the holidays in 2023. Here is the film’s official synopsis:

 In this return to The Hunger Games, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow sees a chance for a change in fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.

In the main Hunger Games novels and films, Snow is the evil despot who rules Panem. In the movies, the character was played by Donald Sutherland.

Casting for the new film has yet to be announced, but The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be directed by Francis Lawrence, who was the filmmaker in charge of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and both parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. The screenplay is by Michael Arndt, who worked on Catching Fireand also wrote or co-wrote the scripts for Little Miss SunshineToy Story 3, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled to open in theaters on November 17.

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