The Hunger Games Franchise is back! But will the odds be in its favour?

By Pavel Blagoev

By Pavel Blagoev

Barbenheimer is already over, but another blockbuster just hit the cinemas! Millions of fans around the world were anticipating the release of the newest addition to the Hunger Games franchise. Below you can find out everything you need to know about The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes – the prequel to the original story about one of the most beloved characters in movie history – Katniss Everdeen, the Girl on Fire

Another reboot, are you kidding me?!

Yes, I know. We are tired of prequels and sequels to movies being constantly released every year, especially as they tend to only disappoint hardcore fans of acclaimed movie franchises. So, why do movie studios always try to make a profit from us, the poor viewers, and don’t leave the original story alone as it should be? Well, here are some reasons why you should give this exact prequel a chance!

It seems this time they know what they are doing

First off, just like previous films, this movie is based on Suzanne Collin’s book, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Although the rating on Goodreads is slightly lower compared to her other Hunger Games books, the overall reaction of fans is one of contentment and excitement for the movie. .

Secondly, Francis Lawrence is directing the new film, which fans appreciate, as he directed three out of the four previous adaptations as well. 

On top of that, we haven’t seen such a star-studded cast for quite a long time. But more about the cast later!

Ok, I might go see the prequel, but what is it about?

Do you remember Panem’s evil president who was responsible for sending innocent children from the districts to fight for their lives in the bloodbath arena? The new movie is about President Corianolus Snow, but you know, before he became president. 

The story takes place during the 10th annual Hunger Games, when Snow is a teenager. His once rich and powerful family has fallen from grace, and Capitol’s seemingly “golden boy” leads a not so “golden” life – he lives only with his ill grandmother and cousin, Tygris, in very poor conditions. He has lost both his parents during the districts’ rebellion, which was later punished from The Capitol with the creation of the Hunger games. His dream to restore his family’s glory can only be achieved if his tribute wins the Games. This seems impossible, as the tribute he is assigned is a woman, Lucy Gray Baird, who hails from the most insignificant district. Though she seems quite unprepared for the battlefield, Snow sees potential in Lucy Gray. Together, they embark on the difficult journey to win the Hunger Games. 

During his time as a mentor, Snow slowly starts to understand the meaning behind the games, the importance of them being held as well as why it is vital for the Capitol to impose strict control over their districts. In other words, this film is Corianolous Snow’s villain origin story. And fans love nothing more than sympathising with the villain – especially if he is played by an attractive, blue-eyed, 6 feet tall English breakout actor Tom Blyth. Which leads us to…

The cast

The Hunger Games franchise’s legacy is made justice by being continued with the addition of some quite big names in cinema, such as Emmy and Oscar award winning actor Viola Davis, who will be playing Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the Head Gamemaker of the Hunger Games. 

Another primetime Emmy awards winner (4 times, as a matter of fact) will be part of the team, namely – Peter Dinklage, who did a fantastic job portraying Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s legendary Game of Thrones. In this new film project he takes on the role of Casca Highbottom, the creator of the Hunger Games himself. 

Speaking of HBO, another star from a big hit show of the network is joining the cast – Euphoria’s Hunter Shafer, who will be playing Snow’s cousin, Tygris. 

It seems that we have covered all the actors, except for probably the most important one – although the movie is primarily about Snow, we know that the Hunger Games series has a soft spot for strong and independent female characters. In this prequel, the strong female lead is  Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler, who has lately found herself in quite the scandal…

The Rachel Zegler scandal

Actress Rachel Zegler has received much hate, since she was casted as Snow White in the Live action movie remake from Disney. The reason is quite obvious – Rachel Zegler is in fact not white, but Latina. Therefore, she does not really fit into the 1937’s movie depiction of Snow White, who has skin “as white as snow”.

Moreover, Zegler has made some very controversial statements. The actress referred to the prince from the original adaptation of Walt Disney (1937), based on Brother Grimm’s fairy tale, as a weird stalker. Audiences became even more outraged after hearing her say that the production team will be changing the original story – apparently this time Snow White is strong enough to not be rescued by a man. Overall, it looks like people have formed a negative attitude towards the star, which might affect the interest towards Hunger Games as well. Yet, we all have heard the saying “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” and it also seems that tables are already turning for the young actress – fans of the series are crazy about Zegler’s version of The hanging tree – the song that Lucy Gray composes and 65 years later becomes the symbol of a revolution.

To conclude

Although people tend to be sceptical about reboots and Rachel Zegler is probably not on the list of America’s most loved celebrities, The Hunger Games series is back and (hopefully) better than ever! Overall, it is a cinema experience you definitely wouldn’t want to miss!

 

Cover: Marco-willy

Edited by: Zofia ​​Ciołek 

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