Lionsgate has released the first teaser for the highly anticipated upcoming “Hunger Games” prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”. The short clip debuted during Sunday night’s 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

Although no footage from the actual film was revealed, the dramatic teaser showcases a snake slithering toward a bird on a tree as they both shed snow from themselves, becoming gold creatures.

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“You’re invited to return to the Games,” read the text in the trailer. “In 2023, the world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake.”

The prequel for the landmark film franchise that has earned over $3 billion globally, stars “Billy the Kid” actor Tom Blyth as a young Coriolanus Snow, before he would become president of Panem, previously portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the “Hunger Games” movies.

“West Side Story”‘s breakthrough actress Rachel Zegler is set to play Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12 in the 10th annual Hunger Games.

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An official synopsis for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” reads, “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol.”

“With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favour,” the synopsis continues. “Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”

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Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three franchise films — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” Parts 1 and 2  will return to serve as director for the new film based on Suzanne Collins’ 2020 #1 New York Times Bestseller book. Collins will serve as an executive producer.

“Like everybody, I first saw Rachel Zegler in ‘West Side Story’, and like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation,” Lawrence said in a press release. “Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” hits theatres on Nov. 17, 2023.

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