The new Hunger Games book will be released next month – and a movie version is set to follow.

Lionsgate is working on an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, a prequel to her three Hunger Games novels, that will be released on May 19.

Collins’ dystopian series, which includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, has sold tens of millions copies worldwide and is the basis for four hit movies starring Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine Katniss Everdeen.

For the new movie, Collins will serve as executive producer and write the film’s treatment.

The screenplay will be by Michael Arndt, an Oscar winner for Little Miss Sunshine, a nominee for Toy Story 3 and one of the writers of the adaptation of Catching Fire.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence starred in the previous films (Yui Mok/PA)

Francis Lawrence returns as director after making the three previous Hunger Games movies. Nina Jacobson will again produce, along with Brad Simpson.

But with movie productions halted by the coronavirus pandemic, no release date has been set and casting has not begun.

The film will take place in Collins’ fictional Panem, and centre on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, the future president, played in the earlier movies by Donald Sutherland.

Collins said: “Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book.

“From the beginning, they have treated the source material with great respect, honouring the thematic and narrative elements of the story, and assembling an incredible team both in front of and behind the camera.

“It’s such a pleasure to be reuniting with Nina, Francis, and Michael to adapt the novel to the screen, and having them share their remarkable talents, once again, with the world of Panem.”