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Everything We Know About The Hunger Games Prequel Coming Out In May 2020

Set 64 years before the first book, the prequel is entitled "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."
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With quarantine pass holders being referred to as "Tributes" on social mediaspawning memes about which District you belong to and gifs of JLaw's iconic "I volunteer as tribute" scene—the Hunger Games has gone back up to full trending status in the past few weeks. Additionally, the four-part film adaptation is available for streaming on Netflix, and even more excitingly, a novel that will serve as a prequel to the series, called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is set to come out on May 19, 2020.


With Suzanne Collins back as the writer of this arguably relevant-in-2020 prequel, let's revisit what we know about this uber-successful franchise and the pop culture phenomenon that is The Hunger Games.

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The Hunger Games Author: Suzanne Collins

Even before the publication of the first Hunger Games novel in 2008, Suzanne Collins was already a New York Times best-selling author of a fantasy-war series called The Underland Chronicles. The five-book series narrates the story of Gregor the Overlander, a kid who discovers Underland deep within New York City. The first book was released in 2003, and the last installment in 2007. The series has been sold into 21 foreign territories. (via

Prior to being a novelist, Collins worked as a children's show writer, and was even part of the staff of some iconic Nickelodean shows like Clarissa Explains It All. 

In an interview with her publishing house, Scholastic, Collins shares her personal reasons for setting stories in the future:


"Telling a story in a futuristic world gives you this freedom to explore things that bother you in contemporary times. So, in the case of the Hunger Games, issues like the vast discrepancy of wealth, the power of television and how it's used to influence our lives, the possibility that the government could use hunger as a weapon, and then first and foremost to me, the issue of war."

On her advice to young writers, she says, "A lot of people tell writers to write about what they know. And that's good advice, because it gives you a lot of things to draw on. But I always like to add that they should write about things that they love. And by that I mean things that fascinate or excite them personally."


What We Know About The Prequel: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Set 64 years before the events of the OG Hunger Games novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will begin on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games, and will tell the story of life after the Dark Days, a period "that took place following the First Rebellion, the civil war that was fought between the districts and the Capitol."

If you've seen Joker or Breaking Bad, it appears the prequel could similarly cater to the rise of the anti-hero, a move that has been met with both excitement and criticism online. In a chapter released exclusively on Entertainment Weekly in January 2020, it appears that at least part of the book will center on Coriolanus Snow, the main villain of the original trilogy geniusly portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film adaptations. Although here, instead of being the future tyrannical president of Panem, Snow is a graduating college student from a once-rich family that is now struggling.


In the preview, the story centered on a young Coriolanus Snow, whose final project in the Academy was to mentor a Tribute for the 10th Hunger Games (an effort to raise viewership and engagement from the audience). Success could mean winning a generous cash prize upon graduation, something Snow secretly needs.

Considering being an overperformining student, he expected to mentor a contender from one of the top districts, but is instead assigned the female tribute from District 12 (much to his dismay).


The Hunger Games Movie Franchise

As far as adaptations go, The Hunger Games was quite loyal to the novel, and most critics would agree that Jennifer Lawrence, then 20 years old, definitely gave justice to Katniss Everdeen, 16.

Other notable characters were Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy. The film was directed by Gary Ross, who co-wrote the screenplay with Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray.

The next few movies moved on with a different director, Francis Lawrence. Philip Seymour Hoffman joined the cast later on as Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire, as did Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. Julianne Moore was also extremenely memorable as President Alma Coin in the two-part Mockingjay films. (via IMDb)

Here's the trailer for those of you who may have missed it:


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Ysabel Y. Yuzon
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A Simple Learner Who's a Great Pretender

Maybe I'm just a learner, not a weirdo. A learner that knows how to listen and pretend. A simple learner who's a great pretender. Pretending to be slightly dumb enough not to be judged and criticized by those who do not appreciate my existence. We surround ourselves with people who's levels are either beyond or below our intellectual behavior, because as for reality, people may use you either for their success or your downfall. Since then, people tend to judge someone who has an intellect with things they shouldn't be. Making them a criticizer, and most of all, calling them weird.

Honestly, I'm one of this "weirdo" who actually loves to learn things, and for the record, I'm bullied and stressed out for making myself not to learn more and go with the flow to dumbness I had. Have you ever feel being assigned to some task where you know every process to make it easier and faster to finish but turns out to hesitate to voice out because some of your mates put themselves in charge. There are times where I know what to do, what to say, or how to react, but kept myself silent and pretend not to know anything that may help us. Maybe it's a good thing to just go with their ideas and learn from their perspectives, but sometimes you can't control it and says something, and once again called to be a weirdo and let you finish the work by yourself.

It's annoying that you only know one process yet they gave you the whole work and let you finish it by yourself because they insist that "MAGALING KA DIBA?". It's not your fault being an intellectual person, knowing such things that may help you to pursue your dreams, and have the basic knowledge about something. You don't need to know everything, just the basics. And as for those people who do not appreciate your existence, let them be and continue what's the best for you. In some cases, you'll be annoyed by this but most of the time you'll be thankful for it. Not for now but maybe later. Just be yourself either a weirdo, a great pretender, or a simple learner, and always remember to lower your voice and behavior because no one loves that.

Just be a great pretender not to hear any runts and be a good learner that appreciates everything. It's out of nowhere thoughts of mine, but simply I leave you this my favorite life quotation; "Don't introduce yourself, Let your success introduce you"

Jayson Miranda 2 days ago
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