The Hunger Games prequel: How will it work as a movie?

Donald Sutherland (“President Snow”) stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment’s THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2.. Photo Credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate
Donald Sutherland (“President Snow”) stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment’s THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2.. Photo Credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate /

The Hunger Games prequel novel offered an interesting character study of President Snow, but will it work as a film?

The Hunger Games is one of those franchises that fans will run back to at the first hint of new content, and that’s pretty much exactly what happened when A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes hit shelves earlier this year. A prequel story set 64 years before Katniss’ story, the novel served as an in-depth character study of President Snow. It was interesting and added some fun worldbuilding elements to Suzanne Collins’ original trilogy, even if it didn’t quite live up to the first three books.

And given the excitement surrounding anything and everything Hunger Games, the prequel was greenlit by Lionsgate before it even came out. It’s understandable the studio would want to jump on this latest story. After all, the four Hunger Games movies already out in the world have been massive successes. However, one has to wonder how Snow’s story will translate to film — particularly since so much of it is centered on his thoughts and motivations.

There’s no denying that Snow’s internal dialogue is part of what drives A Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds forward. That’s why it’s difficult to imagine how that critical part of his story will translate to an onscreen production. There are certainly action moments the upcoming film can capitalize on — but hopefully that won’t be at the expense of deep diving into Snow’s psyche.

After all, without knowing how self-interested Snow’s thought processes are, many of his actions can easily be misconstrued. He does manage to do a few good deeds before going totally off the rails at the end — they’re just mostly prompted by his desire to get ahead, something that makes a huge difference when delving into his backstory. The book goes to great lengths not to redeem Snow’s arguably unredeemable character, and the film will need to accomplish the same balance to succeed.

Whether the upcoming adaptation will rise to that challenge remains to be seen, but the film adaptations for this franchise has yet to fail us before. During Entertainment Weekly’s New York Comic Con panel about the prequel, publisher David Levithan suggested that the movie’s primary focus will be on the “evolution of Panem.” But even if that’s the piece of the prequel the creatives find more interesting, they’ll still need to take care with their “protagonist.”

Fingers crossed for an interesting look at Snow’s past, as well as Panem’s. May the odds be ever in our favor.

Next. 5 reasons The Hunger Games is one of the best YA series of all time. dark

What do you think of Lionsgate making A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes into a movie? Do you think it will work? Share your thoughts in the comments below!