Get ready to return to the dystopian world of Panem.
Today, Good Morning America announced that the upcoming The Hunger Games prequel from Suzanne Collins will be named The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. But that’s not all—they also revealed the brand-new book cover, which features a golden mockingjay perched on a circular branch that a snake is curled on. Lots of symbolism there.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes serves as a prequel to the three highly popular Hunger Games books, which were released between 2008 and 2010 and eventually made into films starring Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) and Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket).
The long-awaited novel is set to drop on May 19, 2020, and picks up 64 years before the plot of the first Hunger Games book. (As a refresher, the introductory book opened on Katniss’s mission to overthrow the regime that pits children against each other in a gruesome death match.) The prequel will center on the tenth Hunger Games, long before Katniss was even alive.
As exciting as the book news is, there may even be more reason to celebrate. Lionsgate hinted earlier this year that the forthcoming novel could merit a big-screen adaptation like its super successful predecessors (which grossed a casual $3 billion worldwide at the box office).
“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” studio chairman Joe Drake said in a statement when The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was first announced in June. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
We volunteer as tribute to star in the prequel.