A 'Hunger Games' Prequel Is In The Works — Here's Everything We Know About 'The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes'

May the odds be ever in Hollywood's favor. Lionsgate announced on April 21 that a prequel for the Hunger Games series was in the works. The film will be based on Suzanne Collins' latest novel, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which will hit bookshelves on May 19.

The Hunger Games (2012) - Lionsgate
“The Hunger Games” (2012). Lionsgate

"Suzanne's new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters," Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group said in a statement.

"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is creatively thrilling and takes this world to complex new dimensions that open up amazing cinematic possibilities. We're thrilled to reunite this filmmaking team with this very unique franchise, and we can't wait to begin production."

The bestselling author will be executive producer of the film, and is "delighted" to work with Lionsgate again. "From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honoring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera," Collins gushed in her own statement. "It's such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem. I look forward to collaborating with them and all at Lionsgate as we bring The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to theaters worldwide."

The prequel will focus on President Corionlaus Snow at age 18, well before his reign as the merciless leader of Panem. Though his once prosperous family fell on hard times, the handsome and charming Snow found an opportunity to turn things around, according to a synopsis. While he was excited about his assignment as mentor for the 10th Hunger Games, Snow was soon disappointed to find out his mentee was a girl from the impoverished 12th District.

Casting has yet to be announced for the upcoming film, according to Drake. The previous films of the Hunger Games franchise were packed with talent including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, along with Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland as President Snow.

Francis Lawrence, who directed Catching Fire along with Mockingjay parts 1 and 2 will return to the director's chair for the prequel. Nina Jacobson, who produced all four of the Hunger Games adaptations will return as well, along with her partner Brad Simpson. Michael Arndt, known for the Oscar-winning script of Little Miss Sunshine, will adapt the screenplay.

A production date has yet to be announced, so fans of the Hunger Games franchise will need to stay tuned for more updates. For the time being, fans can read The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds first when it becomesavailable for purchase May 19.

A 'Hunger Games' Prequel Is In The Works — Here's Everything We Know About 'The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes' | Culture