UPDATED, 9:11 a.m.: After introducing The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes at CinemaCon, Lionsgate has unveiled a new trailer teasing Rachel Zegler’s fight for survival in the arena.
The West Side Story actress stars as Lucy Gray Baird, the female District 12 tribute to the 10th Hunger Games, in the new film based on the books by Suzanne Collins, which launches in theaters November 17th. Starring alongside her is Tom Blyth, who portrays Coriolanus Snow, Baird’s mentor in this game of survival who finds himself torn between his duties to the Capitol and Head Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) and burgeoning feelings for his mentee.
Read more about the film below. View the new trailer above.
PREVIOUSLY, APRIL 27: Lionsgate dropped the trailer for its prequel film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes at CinemaCon today. It’s a first look at tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) and Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), with Peter Dinklage as the vindictive Casca Highbottom, Dean of the Academy, creator of the Hunger Games. Viola Davis is Head Gamemaker Volumnia Gaul. Watch the trailer above.
It’s the annual reaping ceremony of the 10th annual games, set 64 years before the first film. Lucy represents impoverished District 12 and 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is her unwilling — at first — mentor. He’s much more conflicted in his views in this film, decades before he becomes Panem’s tyrannical president. “There have been some changes this year,” he is told. “Your role is to turn these children into spectacles, not survivors.”
But after Lucy commands all Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive ultimately will reveal who is a songbird and who is a snake.
Like the previous films, themes here are freedom and tyranny, good and evil, how both can co-exist and why people chose one over the other. “There is natural goodness built into all a us. We can step across that line into evil — or not,” says Lucy. Panem is full of cranes and construction — rebuilding a decade after a brutal civil war.
The prequel in the $3 billion-grossing global franchise will hit theaters around the world on November 17. Hunger Games franchise sequel producer Francis Lawrence directed and also will produce with the series producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen and Jim Miller are EPs.