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Songbirds & snakes & Hunger Games, oh my!

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes promises a return of Hunger Games fans to theaters.
Ruby Curtis
Ms. Steilow’s copy of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes that sits on her classroom shelf.

I’m excited to see the origins of The Hunger Games.”

— Mitchell De Haan

A new movie is coming soon to theaters that many Spectrum students and staff have been waiting years for. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a book written by Suzanne Collins and released on May 19, 2020, is the prequel to the original Hunger Games series.

The movie adaptation is set to release in theaters on November 17, 2023. The original trilogy of books, released between 2008 and 2010, and eventual movies, released from 2012-2015, created a large following of teenagers and young adults.

A Spectrum junior, named Marin Burg, says that she has been a fan of the series since she read the books in sixth grade. Mitchell De Haan, a Social Studies teacher in the high school, has loved the series since he read it in high school and even went to all of the midnight premieres for each movie as it came out. Emily Stielow, a middle school English teacher, says that even though she has not yet read the books, she enjoyed the movies a lot.

“I think it was really popular at the time,” said Stielow. “It was something that everybody was going to go see.”

The anticipation of a new live-action adaptation to the series leads book fans to want to see certain aspects of the book come to life on screen. Lily Clarine, a Spectrum senior, has read all of the books in the series and is among those who are excited about the book-to-screen adaptation.

“I really liked the book,” said Clarine. “I’m just excited to see how they interpret it.”

Many also are excited to see previous characters and aspects of the original trilogy brought back in the prequel.

“I thought the trailer looked really good,” said Burg. “I’m really excited to hear them sing The Hanging Tree song.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes poster at the entrance of Emagine Rogers catches people’s eyes as they walk into the theater. (Isabella Schluender)

“I think I’m most excited to see [President] Snow’s character development,” said Ava Henrie, another Spectrum junior.

Others who are just movie watchers and haven’t read the books are also excited for a new addition to the series. Sammie Angrimson, a Spectrum senior, hasn’t read the series but is an avid fan of the movies.

“It’s going to be a surprise when I see it,” said Angrimson.

“I have heard about the book, but I haven’t read it,” said Stielow. “I’m excited to see it and get to know different perspectives.”

In a survey of around 15 students, 53% said that they would be going to watch the movie when it is released in theaters and 46% said they would not be seeing the movie in theaters. Of the percentage of the students viewing the movie in theaters, 22 % have read the book, while 77% said they have not read the book.

The percentages of students who will and will not be watching the new movie. (Ruby Curtis)
A chart depicting the percentage of students who are viewing the new movie and have or have not read the book. (Ruby Curtis)








Overall, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be a seemingly big hit with both new and old fans of The Hunger Games series.

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