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'Hunger Games' prequel titled 'Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'

By Annie Martin

Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The Hunger Games prequel will officially be titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Good Morning America unveiled a title and cover for the new book, written by Suzanne Collins, on Friday.

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled for release May 19, 2020. The novel takes place in Panem 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, published in 2008.

Scholastic confirmed the news in a tweet Friday.

"Return to the Hunger Games! The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes from Suzanne Collins is coming out on May 19, 2020," the publisher wrote.

Scholastic also unveiled a banner for the book Friday at New York Comic Con.

Collins had shared plans for a Hunger Games prequel in June.

"With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceived is required for our survival," the author said.

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"The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days -- as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet -- provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity,"? she added.

The Hunger Games series consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Lionsgate Films adapted the books as a four-movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.

Lionsgate is in talks with Collins to adapt the prequel for film.

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