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'The Hunger Games' Prequel Showcases Panem in a Bygone Era

honor gillies as barb azure, konstantin taffet as clerk carmine and rachel zegler as lucy gray baird in the hunger games the ballad of songbirds and snakes photo credit murray close
Where Was 'The Hunger Games' Prequel Filmed?Murray Close/Lionsgate

Nearly a decade later, fans of The Hunger Games franchise have been gifted a prequel. And while we’re eager to dive into the future Panem president Coriolanus Snow’s rise to infamy in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, we’re equally intrigued by the construction of the dystopian country. Set 64 years prior to the earlier works (and based on the 2020 book of the same name), the film introduces viewers to a past version of the Capitol and its districts. To do so, filming took place in Germany and Poland. Ahead, explore everything we know about the prequel’s filming locations.

a person in a dress standing in a large room with people
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Where Was The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Filmed?

Director Francis Lawrence returned to the The Hunger Games franchise to direct the latest installment. With an affinity for filming in real locations, Lawrence worked with production designer Uli Hanisch to imagine what Panem would look like decades before Katniss Everdeen’s story unfolded. Hanisch used a comparable real-world event to do so. “Six decades ago, in our history, we were at the end of the 1950s, and the beginning of the 1960s,” he said in a press brief. “Berlin at that time, is comparable to the film’s Capitol: You have a capital city 15 years after a devastating war, and everything is different. I found that very inspiring in designing the Capitol of Panem.”

Over the course of 17 weeks, filming took place in Poland and Germany. Production started in Poland, where Centennial Hall in Wroclaw was used as the arena where the 10th Annual Hunger Games are held. In a remote corner of the Polish countryside, two small fishing lakes with a nearby meadow provided necessary, remote backdrops.

a group of people sitting in a room with large screens
Courtesy of Lionsgate

In Germany, a public park called Landschaftspark located in Duisburg-Meiderich provided a vast, distinct setting for District 12 when it was thriving. “This is a unique place because this huge steel mill became a public park where people can walk around and discover the old steel mill facilities,” Hanisch added in the brief.

For a pivotal train sequence, a train museum in Cologne, Germany, came in handy. In Brandenburg, Germany, the Nauen Transmitter Station—the oldest continuously operating radio transmitting installation in the world—is the location where Coriolanus receives his Peacekeeper training.

honor gillies as barb azure, konstantin taffet as clerk carmine and rachel zegler as lucy gray baird in the hunger games the ballad of songbirds and snakes photo credit murray close
Murray Close/Lionsgate

Berlin prevailed as the production’s principal and final destination, where a park with an artificial lake was the perfect spot for the production to build a zoo enclosure. Not only that, but they constructed the lab of Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head game maker of the 10th Hunger Games, (played by Viola Davis) inside a crematorium.

Snow’s apartment was one of the production’s only set builds, which was dreamt up in several versions of disrepair at Germany’s Babelsberg Studio. Hanisch based Snow’s home on descriptions from the novel, making sure it reflected that his family was once rich but struggled after the war.


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