Why Hunger Games Producer Is ‘Excited’ About The Prequel’s New Protagonist

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games Mockingjay
(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

Since Suzanne Collins’ prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was announced early this year, fans feared shifting the point of view over to President Snow would not measure up to The Girl on Fire and Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen. Though the new Hunger Games book does have a secret weapon. It focuses on a young Snow as he mentors Lucy Gray Baird, the female District 12 tribute of the 10th Hunger Games.

During the recent New York Comic Con panel devoted to the YA franchise, Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson showed particular enthusiasm about adapting the new character to the movie adaptation set to be helmed by Francis Lawrence. In her words:

I’m very excited about introducing Lucy… Lucy is a character who is much more aware of the power of her femininity. Katniss is much more quiet, a woman of few words. Lucy as a performer is a very different kind of character... Lucy is more mysterious because she is an entertainer. She is playing, in her own way, to the crowd.

The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes will not be a Hunger Games rerun with another name because there are different dynamics at play. Whereas Katniss was all about action, arrows and overall bluntness, that is not the story of the prequel’s protagonist. Lucy is an orphan living in District 12 who was predominantly raised by her singing group. When she is chosen as a tribute at the 10th Hunger Games, she uses her powerful singing voice to become a Capitol favorite ahead of competing in the games.

You would not catch Katniss dead entertaining the Capitol with music during her time in the games. The Mockingjay certainly did her fair share of performing during the events in the books and films in order to survive, but it did not come easy for her. As Nina Jacobson teases (and readers of The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes will know already), the next Hunger Games movie offers much different dynamics at play.

The novel was released back in May and Lionsgate has already announced its plans to adapt the book with Nina Jacobson once again producing and Francis Lawrence, who directed Catching Fire and both Mockingjay movies, helming for the big screen. It’s now been five years since the last Hunger Games movie hit theaters.

Sadly, since The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes is a prequel, the odds of seeing Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson reprise their roles is not in our favor. Hutcherson did show interest in returning to Peeta recently, along with sharing his and the cast’s ideas for the story to continue past the events of Mockingjay Part 2.

The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes is still in early development at Lionsgate, but you can check out what movies are set to come out next year with CinemaBlend’s 2021 release schedule.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.