'The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes': the 'Hunger Games' prequel has a title and release date

The new addition to The Hunger Games' canon will be released on May 19, 2020

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."  A&L cover, Nov. 2013.
CREDIT: Courtesy Lionsgate *** Local Caption ***  al21no-Hunger-Cover.jpg
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Hunger Games fans will get the chance to revisit Panem in mere months.

Scholastic revealed the title for the much-anticipated The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on Friday at New York Comic Con, while also unveiling a huge banner showing off the new cover art for die-hard fans.

The prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy will be released on May 19, 2020.

The young adult dystopian novels written by American novelist Suzanne Collins proved a hit when they were released between 2008 and 2010, but went stratospheric in 2012 when they were adapted into films. The films launched the career of heroine Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss Everdeen.

This cover image released by Scholastic shows "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes," a Hunger Games novel by Suzanne Collins, to be published on May 19. (Scholastic via AP)

The Hunger Games universe is set in Panem, a North American country split into 12 districts in varying states of poverty. Each year, by decree of the governing Capitol, children from the districts are selected to participate in a televised battle to the death called The Hunger Games.

Collins announced earlier this year that she would revisit the world of Panem with a new book set well before the days of Everdeen. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to take place 64 years earlier, during what Collins had earlier described as the Reconstruction period after the great war. It will begin during the 10th Hunger Games competition.

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