“This is a story a lot about love,” said Francis Lawrence. Emotions can be surprising, coming from the director of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes—But this prequel is much more than the Games you are expecting. “It’s the kind of love story set in another world at a different time,” he added. “A very intimate love story.” He’s not wrong.
Set about 64 years before the story was told in the original Hunger game quadrilogy, the new film — based on Hunger game 2020 novel by Suzanne Collins — following Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) decades before he became the most powerful man in the troubled land of Panem. However, the future President Snow, played in Hunger game movies of Donald Sutherland, equally ambitious as a high school student. “He’s a young man finding his way in the world, but he also makes choices that define the person he is becoming,” producer Nina Jacobsen speak. Throughout the series, he will find himself caught between two forces of nature: the seductive Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) and the villainous Doctor Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis). “He’s a shapeshifter who craves control, yet is drawn to a woman who threatens everything he thinks he wants.”
That woman, Lucy Grey, adds a gentle touch to the brutal world of the franchise. Much as Hunger game heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence in the original films), she’s a tribute from District 12. Unlike Katniss, Lucy Gray comes from a group known for their close-knit musical culture. (“It was thrilling to hear Rachel sing,” Jacobsen said.) Her relationship with Snow began in the arena — though it quickly evolved beyond what the camera saw. As shown in the film’s exclusive first image, above, she placates Snow in a way few others in his war-torn world can.
“This isn’t judgmental, but Lucy Gray is against Katniss,” added Francis Lawrence. “She’s a musician, she’s a performer, she’s a charmer… Snow has never met a girl like this before.”
Because this movie is set decades before Katniss was born, it delve deeper into Panem mythology on which the original films and novels were built. Snow and his contemporaries are still figuring out the aftermath of the “dark days,” the wars that led to the Hunger Games.
“It’s completely different in style, design, character, and perspective,” says Jacobson. “To be able to show a different side of Panem at a different time in its history is really exciting.” Lawrence teases that production designer Uli Hanisch (Queen’s Gambit) has been working to create a “new version” of the backward country and its many aspects — from architecture to interior design — reflect the broken nature of the world and its character in this story. “We’re also going to redo District 12, redo the entire Capitol,” he added, “and a whole new arena.”
Of course, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes there will still be many callbacks. Lawrence said: “Suzanne has done a great job of going back to the mythology and telling a story about the creation of the world. “You have a bit of background knowledge about Katniss. You’re obviously going to get a lot of Snow background, the history of the Olympics, the history of some music, where actually comes from songs like ‘The Hanging Tree’. “
“Back to the world of The Hunger Games has been a return home,” Jacobson added – as well as a journey towards a deeper understanding of the series’ main antagonist..” We can hate it as much as we want. [Snow] in later films,” said Lawrence, “to see that he was a real person… there was something really satisfying about that. “