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Hunger Games Fans Just Got The Best Possible News

"The Hunger Games" remains an inescapable pop-cultural phenomenon. As of this writing, the wildly popular trilogy of dystopian young adult books, written by Suzanne Collins, has sold 50 million copies in the United States alone since the first of the three was first published in 2008. The subsequent film series landed in theaters beginning with "The Hunger Games" in 2012, filling the gap for young adult blockbusters left by the conclusion of the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series of films that had dominated the box office during the 2000s.

With a tetralogy of movies under its belt, the franchise seemed to have reached a conclusion in 2015 with the release of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2." It was already more content than fans expected since that movie aped the successful "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" formula of splitting the last novel in a series into a bipartite set of films. However, Collins returned with a new "Hunger Games" novel in 2020, that time releasing a prequel titled, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes." For those who thought they'd seen all there was of Panem, the book was an unexpected godsend, and it sold half a million copies in its first week.

Now, "Hunger Games" fans have even more good news to look forward to, thanks to an exciting announcement from Lionsgate.

Hunger Games prequel film The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is on its way

At the CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas, Lionsgate announced that the film adaptation of "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" is in production and will be released on November 17, 2023 (via Variety). The movie, like the book, will follow a young version of Coriolanus Snow, the man who goes on to become the manipulative and brutal autocrat of Panem in the original "Hunger Games" trilogy. It will depict the early days of the Hunger Games competitions, which pit young people from each of Panem's 12 Districts against each other in a "Battle Royale"-style fight to the death.

The Lionsgate presentation reportedly did not show any footage from the in-production movie. However, it offered a cinematic reveal for the tagline, "The world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake."

The film's cast has not yet been announced, but due to the fact it is set many years prior to the events of the original trilogy, it is unlikely that any of the primary cast from those films will return. The first "Hunger Games" movies featured Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow, and starred Jennifer Lawrence as the young hero Katniss Everdeen, elevating Lawrence's rising profile to superstardom. Along for the ride were co-stars Josh Hutcherson as Katniss's fellow Hunger Games entrant Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as love interest Gale, and Woody Harrelson as Hunger Games trainer Haymitch.

For "Hunger Games" fans, the odds are once more in their favor.