This cult cinematic saga returns to the cinema this week with a new film which should appeal to fans, but not only that!

The best jams are made in old pots. And it’s not Hollywood that would deny this old adage. The American studio likes to bring franchises or fiction that have already met with public success up to date. This Wednesday, November 15, 2023, spectators will be able to discover a new episode of a saga which ended eight years ago.

A new film from the Hunger Games franchise is indeed to be discovered this week. Subtitled The Ballad of the Serpent and the Songbird, this feature film is the adaptation of a novel by Suzanne Collins released on May 19, 2020. It is therefore not a remake of the adventures of Katniss and Peeta, but a new story taking place in the middle of the dystopian world of Panem and the Hunger Games.

In The Hunger Games: The Ballad of the Serpent and the Songbird, audiences are plunged 64 years before the saga of four films released between 2012 and 2015. This prequel follows the rise of Coriolanus Snow (the president of Panem played by Donald Sutherland in the first feature films). The latter is chosen as mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, an atypical candidate from District 12, during the 10th Hunger Games, a massacre game in which around twenty children from the districts must compete to the death in an arena.

The main character of the film is played by Tom Blyth, who we could see in the series Billy the Kid. Rachel Zegler, revelation of the remake of West Side Story by Steven Spielberg, lends her features to Lucy Gray. In the casting of this prequel, spectators will find other well-known names, such as Viola Davis (Murder) in the role of the terrifying Volumina Gaul, Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) in that of Tigris Snow, or even Jason Schwartzman (Marie-Antoinette) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones).

But since the film’s plot takes place 60 years ago, don’t look for a glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) or Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy).

From 2012 to 2015, the Hunger Games franchise established itself as a must-see. This four-film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy was a huge success at the box office, with all the films grossing $2.9 billion worldwide (for a total budget of $493 million). In France, the four feature films depicting Katniss’s revolt have accumulated more than 10.9 million admissions.

The Hunger Games franchise has also stood out as a critical success against other adaptations of dystopian works for teens or young adults. The plot is also a criticism of social inequalities and of an authoritarian and totalitarian regime which stages a game of massacre to distract (and punish) the people. It also revealed Jennifer Lawrence as an international star.

The first two films, in particular, were a great success with respectively 84% and 89% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (3.4/5 and 3.6/5 on Allociné). If the last two did not succeed in attracting as much, the saga still remains a real pop culture phenomenon.