Coriolanus “Coryo” Snow’s origin story will be told in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The epic first trailer debuted at CinemaCon on April 27 and revealed exciting footage of the upcoming prequel starring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler as Coriolanus Snow and Lucy Gray Baird. The role of Snow in The Hunger Games movies was played by Donald Sutherland.
The trailer begins with Coryo and others being summoned for the annual reaping ceremony. Lucy Gray Baird from District 12 is chosen to compete in the Hunger Games. “There has been a chance this year. As a mentor, Mr. Snow, your role is to turn these children into spectacles, not survivors,” Dean Casca Highbottom tells Coryo.
Coryo becomes Lucy’s mentor and something much more. He tells her that he does his best to take care of her. “You really wanna take care of me in that arena? Start by thinking I can actually win,” the formidable Lucy says.
Lucy and Coryo grow closer, but things begin to unravel. “It’s the things we love most that destroy us,” an older Snow says in the final moments, hinting at the betrayal to come.
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes place 64 years before Katniss Everdeen started a revolution. The film synopsis reads: “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus, who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from the impoverished District 12.”
The synopsis continues, “But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.”
Turns out, Rachel actually turned down the role of Lucy Gray Baird initially. “And I regretted it the second I said it. I had another project lined up that fell through that got pushed into 2023 and I just kind of put my name back into the mix and got it, and I feel really bad for any of the girls… because I put my name back in and they were just like ‘yup, OK, cool, we’ll do it,'” she said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is being released 8 years after the last Hunger Games film, which starred Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. The prequel will be released in theaters on November 17, 2023.