There is no doubt that when it comes to adapting books into films, the runtime would be exceptionally long. However, in the case of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it is bound to have the longest runtime in the franchise.
“We were scheduled for 85 days. We got a day ahead, so we did it in 84 days, which is shorter than Catching Fire, but longer than each of the Mocking Jays. So it was in between because we shot the Mocking Jays together for 155 days, which ends up being 77-ish days apiece. So it was a little longer than each of the Mocking Jays, but shorter than Catching Fire. it definitely will be the longest of all the movies.”
The director reiterates they won’t be splitting the book into multiple movies as an option, seeing as it’s one whole book, unless author Suzanne Collins thinks of a sequel for the story. He reveals on Collider that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will probably hit the three-hour mark, although he does hope it wouldn’t actually be that long.
“Right now, it’s a single, stand-alone movie that takes place 65 years before the first movie in the original series. It’s focused on Coriolanus Snow, the Donald Sutherland character, as a young man. I mean, honestly, unless Suzanne writes another one, it’s a stand-alone. We did it as one. We didn’t split it. It’s one long movie.”
Given that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to the Hunger Games franchise, it is safe to say that the film will reveal much more within the runtime than the previous movies. Seeing as we all know what the Hunger Games tradition is, this prequel serves as an extension of that world, which is set to focus on how Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird won in the games, along with how Tom Blyth’s young President Snow even became who he was in the early films.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled for release on November 17, 2023.