The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will bring us back to Panem later this month, and we finally know whether it's a winning return.
Based on Suzanne Collins' prequel novel of the same name, the new Hunger Games movie is set years before Katniss stepped into the arena, switching its attention to an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and his mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler).
The new movie has started to be screened to critics ahead of its world premiere this Thursday (November 9). Those lucky few to have seen it have started to take to social media with their first reactions to Songbirds & Snakes.
So, is it another Hunger Games hit?
"As a longtime obsessive of The Hunger Games, oh boy, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes really delivered for me. Watching this made me feel the magic I felt when I saw the first movie as a 14-year-old," wrote Buzzfeed's Lauren Garafano.
Next Best Picture's Barry Hertz added: "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the best Hunger Games movie yet. It's darker, more of a character study than anything, but always genuinely entertaining."
They're far from the only positive reactions to the new movie. Check out some of the other early responses below.
#TheHungerGames: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a lucrative film that has all the right elements implemented to make it a successful book-to-film adaptation. It was refreshing to see the film and characters displayed almost perfectly on the big screen. pic.twitter.com/TodnX21M8e
— Stephanie Ramirez (@SweetnShy13) November 5, 2023
The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes perfectly delivers the downward spiral of who will become President Coriolanus Snow that fans love to hate. The entire cast is phenomenal. Tom Blyth gives the performance of a lifetime! #HungerGames #TheBalladOfSongbirdsAndSnakes pic.twitter.com/IuvCnfLyc3
— Tessa Smith - Mama's Geeky (@MamasGeeky) November 5, 2023
Big #TheHungerGames fan over here and LOVED #TheBalladOfSongbirdsAndSnakes book, so I am *very* happy to report that the new movie is quite good! In fact, the first 2/3 is excellent.
While I understand why they didn’t split the book into two movies, it is quite noticeable that… pic.twitter.com/kcwLZNqgpE
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) November 5, 2023
THE HUNGER GAMES THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES was more gripping than the original.
Suspenseful & gritty especially the tributes' fights.
Runtime could've been trimmed down & the ending could've been less ambiguous. But I liked it#TheHungerGames #TheBalladOfSongbirdsAndSnakes pic.twitter.com/HAxlAdfyoM
— Rama's Screen (@RamasScreen) November 5, 2023
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a gripping tale that blurs the line between good and evil.@rachelzegler is an enchanting heroine! Tom Blyth is brilliant and gritty! @violadavis is deliciously evil! Jason Schwartzman steals the show! #TheHungerGames pic.twitter.com/U9oyiQ26it
— Jeff Conway (@jeffconway) November 5, 2023
Ahead of its release, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes has been confirmed as the longest Hunger Games movie to date, clocking in at nearly 157 minutes which makes it 10 minutes longer than Catching Fire.
The rumour was that she'd appear as Katniss's grandmother, leading Lawrence to joke: "Oh, 'cause I'm 49 in Hollywood years, huh? No! That's not true."
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is released in cinemas on November 17.
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