When it comes to the Hunger Games franchise, there is no character who shines more than Coriolanus Snow in terms of how morally conflicted he seems to be. There are characters throughout the books and the movies who come and go, impacting the story in ways many would deem to be little in significance at first. It is only later that they come full circle. President Snow happened to be one such character.
Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the spin-off for the Hunger Games franchise, is one many are looking forward to because the story of Coriolanus Snow was one many wanted to look into. Francis Lawrence, the director of the film, was no different, having made the film solely for the purpose of expanding on Snow’s story and what exactly drove him mad.
Francis Lawrence’s Real Reason for Making a Hunger Games Prequel
Speaking with Slash Film, Francis Lawrence revealed that one of the biggest motivations for him to take up the film was because of how different it was. President Snow, or in Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, is and always will be a villain. It is not a movie that holds the purpose of showing him to be a morally conflicted or grey character but more so one who is bad from the very beginning.
“I will say part of why I wanted to do this movie is when I read the manuscript, I just so loved that it was a “Hunger Games” movie, but very different in terms of narrative structure, but a narrative journey for a character. But we also knew that the biggest trick in getting this movie right, because people know that he’s the villain from the other movies.”
The film is not the journey of a hero as in Katniss Everdeen’s case, but that of a villain. It is his slow descent into madness, one that shows the character breaking bit by bit as the story unfolds parts of Snow that were left hidden in the original books and movies.
Coriolanus Snow is No Man of the Good
In his interview with Slash Film, Francis Lawrence opened up about how things for Coriolanus Snow were not as dandy from the very beginning. One of Lawrence’s driving forces to direct the film was that it was dark. It was not a movie that overpowered good over evil. It shows the story in its true candid nature.
“To sort of get him to a place in the beginning where we can get the audience behind him, rooting for him, empathizing with him, while making sure that the elements of, the need for ambition, some of the greed, some of maybe the genetic darkness that’s in him from his father, that all those seeds are planted. So eventually, in his descent into darkness, you find it sort of truthful.”
Snow slowly goes mad, he becomes darker, but it is not that he was not dark to begin with. It is a story of a villain, told from the point of view of a villain.