'The Hunger Games' prequel to focus on President Snow, but does the villain of Panem need a backstory?

A prequel to 'The Hunger Games' series, based on the ruthless Corialanus Snow was announced, just a while back


                            'The Hunger Games' prequel to focus on President Snow, but does the villain of Panem need a backstory?
Corialanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland (IMDB)
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If a franchise brings glowing success, it's time to delve into a couple of prequels and spin-offs. So, why should 'The Hunger Games' miss out on all the fun?

Recently, it was officially confirmed that filmmaker Francis Lawrence is returning to direct the Lionsgate prequel, 'The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes' based on Suzanne Collins’ new novel which will be in bookstores by May 19.

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Lawrence had helmed the last three films of the successful franchise. There has been no discussion about casting yet, as anyway the coronavirus pandemic has put everything on hold for the moment. It can be safely assumed that after the pandemic, the cast will be announced.

The prequel film will focus on an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem (played by Donald Sutherland), we know and hate. The first excerpt from the book as featured in Entertainment Weekly, describes Snow in the new prequel as: “A teen born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know he will become. Here he’s friendly. He’s charming. For now he’s a hero.”

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As always, keeping true to origin stories, he's a handsome and charming soul and is desperate to change his fortunes as the Snow family has fallen on hard times. He sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games. However, much to his chagrin, he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But what will make him the murderous man we see in the films later? 

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We remember Snow as a murderous and ruthless dictator, who ruled over the Capitol and its districts. He will do anything to fulfill his agenda as well as threatening to kill Katniss Everdeen. Murder is a child's play for him as he proved several times over. When Haymitch Abernathy emerged victorious after the 50th Hunger Games by performing stunts with a forcefield, Snow murdered his mother and brother as punishment because he said that Abernathy's move was ridiculous. He killed Johanna Mason's family, after her victory in the 74th Hunger Games as she refused to become a prostitute. He has poisoned his allies as he was worried that they would emerge as his enemies one day. In order to look covert, he drank the poison as well, with copious antidotes. Yet, the poison left sores behind in his mouth and he had to carry around a rose, which disguised the scent of blood on his breath. He dies in 'Mockingjay', but not without having a brutal last laugh. 

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Snow's backstory would make for an interesting prequel, just like Anakin Skywalker, or even Lord Voldemort from 'Harry Potter' series, for that matter. Villains always make for fantastic protagonists in prequels. What made him the person he was? And does any of that justify the person he finally became? 

However, fans haven't really been pleased with the focus the series is taking. Summing up the disappointment of a lot of fans, one said: "Really waited so long for the new hunger games prequel thinking haymitch was gonna be the center of it but we’re gonna get a president snow origin story...". Another fan went off on a race rant saying: "Of all the characters in The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins decided to humanize President Snow. Like we need another story about some tortured white boy. I hate it here." Fans listed plenty of other names who deserved a focus in the sequel other than Snow saying: "This could’ve been Cinna, Mags, Haymitch, Rue, Pollux, Johanna, Effie literally ANYONE else. but SNOW?!"

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Suzanne Collins's book will be out soon, and it will be interesting to see how her fans react to this insight into the character.