Rachel Zegler Sings ‘The Hanging Tree’ for ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel

Rachel Zegler‘s vocals ring through “The Hanging Tree,” the first song to be released as part of the upcoming “Hunger Games” prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

The orchestral title, out today via Geffen Records, first appeared as the second single from the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” in 2014. Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss Everdeen, offered her vocals for the track that was originally written by Suzanne Collins and composed by Howard, Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz from the band the Lumineers.

Audiences will witness the song’s origin in the upcoming film when Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler) sings it for the first time. “The Hanging Tree” is then passed down through generations, leading up to its appearance in “Mockingjay.”

Based on Collins’ prequel novel of the same name, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who strives to uplift his family’s legacy in a post-war Capitol. In the midst of his efforts, he is tasked with mentoring District 12’s tribute and Panem’s favorite, Lucy (Zegler). Coriolanus works with Lucy to keep her alive in the Hunger Games, as he begins to wobble between the concepts of good and evil.

Among the credits, “The Hunger Games” franchise director Francis Lawrence returns for the prequel film. Michael Lesslie wrote the screenplay, and Collins, Tim Palen and Jim Miller executive produce alongside producers Brad Simpson, Nina Jacobson and Lawrence.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” premieres in theaters Nov. 17.

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