We have our first details from the upcoming Hunger Games Prequel. It was announced last year that author Suzanne Collins had penned a new book in the series that will go further back into the history of this world before the events of the original trilogy. Lionsgate has already optioned the rights for the book, titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and intends to turn it into a movie. Now, we know the story will center on a young Coriolanus Snow.

An excerpt from the book was recently released, as well as some initial details. Snow as played by Donald Sutherland in the movies, is essentially the villain of the series. In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, that's not going to be the case. Snow, in his younger years, is described as follows.

"A teenager born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know he will become. Here, he's friendly. He's charming. And, for now anyway, he's a hero."

Coriolanus Snow will be working his way through the Academy, with hopes of attending University. We also find out through the passage that his parents and grandparents were rather notable figures and that he's hoping to achieve some notoriety in his own right. This bit of text provides a little insight into his plans.

"This year, beginning this very day, he was hoping to achieve personal recognition as well. Mentoring in the Hunger Games was his final project before graduating from the Academy in midsummer. If he gave an impressive performance as a mentor, with his outstanding academic record, Coriolanus should be awarded a monetary prize substantial enough to cover his tuition at the University."

The full excerpt reveals that this particular Hunger Games will be the first to have mentors for tributes. More than that, it's the earliest shades of how the event became a cultural phenomenon in that universe. A spectacle. The mentor program is a big part of it and Coriolanus Snow will be aiding one of the tributes. However, he isn't tasked with training one of the likely winners from District 1 or 2. He ends up with a girl from District 12. That just so happens to be the same district that Katniss Everdeen was from.

Additionally, a photo of a young Snow was revealed, which looks a lot like Donald Sutherland, only much younger. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to hit shelves on May 19. There is no word on how quickly Lionsgate intends to get working on the movie, but given that the Hunger Games movies grossed nearly $3 billion at the box office, we'd expect they'll get to work on it sooner rather than later. To read the full excerpt, head on over to Entertainment Weekly. You can also check out the cover for the book, as well as the image of young Snow, below.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott