The upcoming “Hunger Games” prequel officially has a title and cover art, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The new novel will be called “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” a segment on “Good Morning America” revealed Friday.
Suzanne Collins, author of the popular “Hunger Games” trilogy that spawned a movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence, announced she would be writing a prequel earlier this year, the Deseret News reported.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will take place 64 years before the events of the Hunger Games, during the “Dark Days” of Panem, according to the Deseret News.
“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” Collins has said of the prequel, according to Entertainment Weekly. “The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”
Because of the jump in time in the prequel, characters from the original novels like Katniss and Peeta almost certainly will not play a role in the new story. The New York Times observed that, while the success of Collins’ prequel remains to be seen, other authors have recently been successful at expanding into prequels or spinoffs of their work.
For example, author J.K. Rowling has expanded the magical world of her “Harry Potter” novels with the recent “Fantastic Beasts” movies, which are set decades before the events of the original books.
Publisher Scholastic seems to be counting on “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” doing well: The first printing of the book will have 2.5 million copies, according to Bustle.
It also seems as though the book is already being prepared for a film adaptation, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“As the proud home of the ‘Hunger Games’ movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” Joe Drake, a chairman of Lionsgate Studios (which produced the “Hunger Games” movies), said after the prequel was announced, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is scheduled to be released May 19, 2020, according to Entertainment Weekly.