The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Director Francis Lawrence Talks The "Fun" Of Bringing The Hunger Games To Life

We talked to Francis Lawrence about the look of The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is heading to theaters this month, and it's the fourth film of the franchise to be helmed by Francis Lawrence. The new film is based on Suzanne Collins' book of the same name and takes place 64 years before the first Hunger Games. recently had the chance to interview Lawrence about the film, and he talked about working with Collins and creating the look of the fictional time period and the "fun" of bringing the 10th Annual Hunger Games to life. 

"I think part of what was fun about this... I mean, maybe I did [learn lessons] just because I've done some of the Games before on the other ones. And so, when you come back to these Games, and even though the arena is very different and it's much more rudimentary, you want to make sure that you're approaching the Games in very different ways, and that the beginning of the Games and the way the Games start and all of that has really specific emotional values that differ from the ones we've seen before," Lawrence explained.

"More of what she and I would talk about is maintaining the rudimentary nature of the Games themselves," he continued. "And we had talked a lot about the sort of level of technology. And then, really, I worked with Uli Hanisch to kind of create the look of this. And I think Suzanne always gives me the freedom to go where I want to go with that. And we really just looked at reconstruction-era Berlin, 1945, the end of the war. How do you sort of rebuild from all that damage after the dark days of war? And that's kind of what we looked at and why we ended up really shooting in Berlin for most of the movie.

Who Stars In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes stars Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow, Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, Viola Davis as Head Gamemaker Volumnia Gaul, Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius "Lucky" Flickerman, Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow, and Josh Andrés Rivera as Sejanus Plinth.  

The movie will also include Fionnula Flanagan as Grandma'am, young Coriolanus Snow's grandmother. Isobel Jesper Jones is playing Mayfair Lipp, the daughter of the mayor of District 12. Honor Gillies will be making her professional acting debut as Barb Azure. Eike Onyambu has been cast as Tam Amber, Konstantin Taffet will be playing Clerk Carmine, Burn Gorman is Commander Hoff, Scott Folan is Beanpole, Carl Spencer is Smiley, and Michael Greco and Daniela Grubert have been cast as Strabo Plinth and Mrs. Plinth, the wealthy parents to Sejanus Plinth, Coriolanus's best friend. Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples, and Hiroki Berrecboth are also a part of the cast. 

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to open in theaters on November 17th. You can watch our interview with Lawrence at the top of the page.