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‘The Hunger Games’ prequel ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ is coming. Here’s everything we know
The latest trailer for “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is here, and by the looks of it, the box office will be ever in its favor.
Based on the 2020 novel by Suzanne Collins, the upcoming dystopian action film winds back the clock 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute to compete for her life in her sister's place.
The film, starring Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer and Viola Davis, promises to pull audiences into the origins of the televised death match known as the Hunger Games set in the world of Panem.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will also feature familiar —albeit much younger — faces, giving longtime fans of the franchise a 360 view of one of its most villainous characters.
Here's everything we know so far.
When is the film coming out?
"The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" premieres in theaters on Nov. 17.
Is "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" a prequel?
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a spinoff and a prequel to Suzanne Collins’ "Hunger Games" trilogy.
The book was released in May 2020 and follows a young President Coriolanus Snow, the main antagonist of the series.
What is the book about?
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” follows an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, played by Blyth in the film, well before he becomes the rose-sniffing tyrant of Panem.
According the book's synopsis, the story is set during the time of the 10th annual Hunger Games, and Coriolanus' family "has fallen on hard times."
As the son of a once-wealthy family of consequence, he is determined to win the prize awarded to the mentor of the Hunger Games’ victor.
He's assigned to mentor a female tribute from District 12 (sound familiar?) named Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler in the movie, and their fates become "completely intertwined."
After he starts to develop feelings for Lucy, he’s forced to decide between fighting for power or love.
Will Katniss Everdeen be in "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes"?
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a prequel set more than six decades years before Katniss Everdeen entered the Hunger Games arena.
This means the teen archer was not yet born by the time the events of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” take place. As a result, beloved characters like Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) likely will not be making appearances.
Who else is in the cast of "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes"?
The Hunger Games prequel boasts a star-studded cast in addition to leads Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth. Here's what to know.
The “Euphoria” actor will appear in the series as Tigris Snow, cousin to Coriolanus.
In “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” Tigris is a 21-year-old aspiring stylist when her cousin (the future President Snow) asks her for help preparing for the reaping. She later assists Coriolanus and Lucy in the book as they attempt to endear themselves with television audiences during interviews.
While Schafer is new to the franchise, her character isn’t.
Fans of “The Hunger Games” will likely remember Tigris as a stylist who helps disguise Katniss, Peeta and Gale during the events of the “Mockingjay.”
Dinklage stars as Casca Highbottom, the creator of the Hunger Games, in "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."
“Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life. As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus’s fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life,” director Francis Lawrence said in a statement last year.
Davis plays Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”
Fans of the original trilogy may remember that gamemakers are tasked with devising the obstacles tributes face in the Hunger Games arena, aiming to make them deadly yet entertaining to the bloodthirsty audience of the Capitol.
Davis' character is described as having a sing-song voice and a vicious streak, with has no qualms about killing people, even children.
Alex Portée is a senior trending reporter at TODAY Digital and is based in Los Angeles. She has previously published food and culture pieces for Vogue, New York Magazine, Netflix Queue and more.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes: Release Date, Cast & What To Know
Witness the rise of the games as a young coriolanus snow mentors a headstrong young woman from district 12 decades before katniss everdeen., published on.
Official JustWatch writer
May the prequel be ever in your favor.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes marks the first Hunger Games film on the big screen since 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 . Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence led the franchise to the tune of over $2.9 billion over four installments. Based on the Suzanne Collins novel which was released in 2020, Francis Lawrence returns to direct the upcoming The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes after previously directing every Hunger Games film except the first entry .
Given the popularity of The Hunger Games series, it's not surprising that a prequel exploring the backstory of the dystopian world of Panem and the origins of the Games would eventually come to fruition. With the release of the film set for next week, fans will have the opportunity to witness a teenage President Snow before he evolves into the ruthless and tyrannical ruler seen in the future.
Here is a recap on everything you need to know about The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes before heading to the theater.
What is The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes About?
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes place six decades prior to the first film in the series. It delves into the sequence of events that led a young Coriolanus Snow down the path to becoming the authoritarian leader of Panem. Furthermore, it explores his relationship with Lucy Gray Baird, a participant in the 10th Hunger Games.
The official Lionsgate synopsis is as follows:
"Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the female tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake."
Although the main narrative will revolve around the Games themselves, its thematic focus will explore the gradual societal acceptance of the Hunger Games. During an interview with Deadline, producer Nina Jacobson emphasized that The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will offer a distinct departure from the original trilogy:
“It’s a new story, with new ground and new characters. We were able to create a completely different visual language… one that is still recognizably Panem, but also different and fresh.”
Who Stars in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?
Tom Blyth ( Benediction ) is portraying the young Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Hollywood veteran Donald Sutherland originally played this role in the previous Hunger Games films. Rachel Zegler ( West Side Story ) stars as Lucy Gray Baird, the tribute for the impoverished District 12. Hunter Schafer ( Euphoria ) portrays Tigris Snow, Coriolanus' cousin, while Jason Schwartzman ( Asteroid City ) stars as Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, the broadcast host of The Hunger Games and ancestor of Ceasar Flickerman who Stanley Tucci played in the original films.
The film has an extensive supporting cast consisting of some incredibly talented names. These include Josh Andrés Rivera as Sejanus Plinth, Peter Dinklage as Casca "Cas" Highbottom, Oscar winner Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, Fionnula Flanagan as Grandma'am, Burn Gorman as Commander Hoff, Ashley Liao as Clemensia Dovecot and Zoe Renee as Lysistrata Vickers.
Do I Need To Watch The Hunger Games To Enjoy The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?
No, you do not need to watch The Hunger Games to enjoy The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes because it is set in an era long before the original films.
In this prequel, you can still grasp the portrayal of a nation trying to recover from war, even if you're unfamiliar with the story. The Games in this period are quite different from what they'll become in the future – they're more of a brutal punishment, a simple battle to the death among debilitated teenagers. While you might notice and appreciate some subtle details if you've seen the previous films, it's not a requirement to understand and enjoy The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Is Katniss in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?
No, as far as we know Katniss Everdeen is not in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.
While she won't be part of the prequel, original star Jennifer Lawrence has previously expressed to Variety that she would eagerly reprise her role if the opportunity arose:
"If Katniss could ever come back to my life, 100 percent." Josh Hutcherson, who starred alongside Lawrence as Peeta Mellark, echoed a similar sentiment in 2020 during an interview with ET: “100%, that would be great… I love that whole cast and crew. If they can get some of the same people involved, [I would do it] no question.”
While it would be exciting to see the return of these beloved characters, the odds of that happening, unfortunately, are not in our favor. While speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, producer Nina Jacobson mentioned that Katniss’ return to the big screen would depend on author Suzanne Collins writing another Hunger Games novel centered around her – a prospect that seems unlikely:
“Honestly, as much as I love Katniss, I think her story is complete. And I think that Suzanne feels that her story is complete. But if that changes, and Suzanne has something she wants to say, and it involves Katniss, then I would be thrilled,” Jacobson revealed. It is true that Katniss had a satisfying ending. While there may not be the potential to have a full-fledged film centered around her, catching a glimpse of her in a cameo role or any form of appearance would be an undeniable treat for fans.
Is Katniss Related to Lucy Gray?
It is not confirmed whether Katniss Everdeen is related to Lucy Gray Baird. There are, however, numerous theories circulating about their possible relation.
One of these theories suggests that if Lucy Gray were to return to District 12's The Seam following the events of The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, it is possible that she could be Katniss' paternal grandmother since Katniss’ father grew up there and she ultimately resided there.
Although the two characters share similarities, such as their knowledge of plants and affinity for singing, director Francis Lawrence emphasized their fundamental differences in an interview with Empire. He describes Lucy Gray as being the "anti-Katniss," drawing a sharp contrast between them:
“Katniss was an introvert and a survivor… She was quite quiet and stoic, you could almost say [she was] asexual. Lucy Gray is the opposite. She wears her sexuality on her sleeve, [and] she really is a performer.” Lawrence also highlighted Lucy Gray's talent at using her remarkable performance abilities to effectively influence people: “She loves crowds. She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people.”
Fans are ready to re-enter the world of Panem after an eight-year absence. Hopefully, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes succeeds in crafting a captivating narrative that can appeal to both long-time enthusiasts and those new to the series.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will be released in theaters on November 17, 2023.
Hunger Games prequel movie gets 2023 release date
The spin-off is releasing next winter
The Hunger Games prequel movie, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, now has an official release date. The prequel is currently set to hit the big screen on November 17, 2023.
The announcement was made at CinemaCon, along with a teaser trailer. "You’re invited to return to the Games," read the screen (via The Hollywood Reporter ). "In 2023, the world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake."
Francis Lawrence, who helmed the last three movies in the original quartet ( Catching Fire , Mockingjay – Part 1 , and Mockingjay – Part 2 ), will direct the prequel, but there's no news on casting yet. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins is on board as one of the film's screenwriters.
The first Hunger Games movie was released in 2012. Set in a dystopian future version of the US called Panem, each year one boy and one girl from each of the nation's districts must take part in the annual Hunger Games as punishment for past uprisings against the Capitol. The Games are a televised competition in which the adolescent "tributes" must fight to the death. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks starred in the franchise.
The prequel movie will be based on Collins' novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which was published in 2020. Set over 60 years before the first Hunger Games novel, it follows an 18-year-old from the Capitol who is tasked with mentoring one of the Games' tributes, but as their fates become entwined, things start to get complicated.
While we wait for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to arrive in theaters, check out our list of the other upcoming movies on the way in 2022 and beyond.
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I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.
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Rachel zegler enters the arena in trailer for ‘hunger games: the ballad of songbirds and snakes’.
The film, which takes place 64 years before the events of the hit franchise, also stars Tom Blyth as a young Cornelius Snow, who decades later will become the ruthless ruler of Panem.
By Aaron Couch
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The games are beginning again in the new trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes .
The film takes place 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games and stars Tom Blyth as a young Cornelius Snow , who decades later will become the ruthless ruler of Panem, the land where children from each of its districts are forced to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games.
Filmmaker Francis Lawrence returns to direct the project after helming three of the four Hunger Games features that starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.
The project is one of a few tentpoles moving ahead with its release amid the SAG-AFTRA strike, which if still ongoing when Songbirds and Snakes opens on Nov. 17, will prevent its actors from doing press to support the movie. Warner Bros., likewise, is moving ahead with a release for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom a month later.
The film comes three years after The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins published her prequel novel , The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes . Michael Arndt and Michael Lesslie adapted the novel for the screen.
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Everything we know so far about Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Ready to return to the arena?
Jessica is a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly, where she covers TV, movies, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in Bustle, NYLON, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and more. She lives in California with her dog.
A train back to Panem awaits.
The world of The Hunger Games is expanding once again with a big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins ' prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes — and the tributes have already been lined up. The upcoming film is being directed by Francis Lawrence , who helmed the last three Hunger Games movies. Let's take stock of everything we know so far about the highly-anticipated prequel, including its plot, players, and premiere date.
What is The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes about?
A prelude to the original film series starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson , Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes tells the story of a teenage Coriolanus Snow before he becomes the authoritarian president of Panem we saw Donald Sutherland portray in the original movies.
The story takes place around the 10th annual Hunger Games. Coriolanus, much to his chagrin, is picked to be a mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, a young female tribute from the impoverished District 12. "But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem's attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor," according to a synopsis from the studio. "Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy's race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake."
Who's directing, writing, and producing?
Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer), who helmed Catching Fire , Mockingjay Part 1 , and Mockingjay Part 2 , will return to direct and produce the prequel. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also returning as producers. Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller will executive produce the film, which features a screenplay by Assassin's Creed writer Michael Lesslie.
Who's in theThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes cast?
Tom Blyth ( Billy the Kid , The Gilded Age ) has been cast as the young Coriolanus Snow, in the Hunger Games prequel, while Rachel Zegler ( West Side Story , Shazam! Fury of the Gods ) will play Lucy Gray Baird. Zegler's West Side Story costar Josh Andrés Rivera has also been tapped to play Snow's friend Sejanus Plinth, while Euphoria breakout Hunter Schafer has been cast as Tigris , Coriolanus' cousin and confidante. A prized Capitol stylist, Tigris was portrayed by Eugenie Bondurant in the original franchise; she is revealed to be Snow's cousin in the prequel.
Jason Schwartzman will portray Lucretius "Lucky" Flickerman, host of the 10th annual Hunger Games and ancestor to Caesar Flickerman, portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the original franchise. There will also be a new crop of tributes and mentors, including Jerome Lance as Marcus, a tribute from District 2; Ashley Liao as Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus' closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11; Knox Gibson as Bobbin, a tribute from District 8; Mackenzie Lansing as Coral, a tribute from District 4; and Aamer Husain as Felix Ravinstill, a mentor to a tribute from District 11.
Viola Davis will play Volumnia Gaul, the villainous head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games. A scientist and instructor at the university Snow attends, Volumnia is also the mastermind behind the Capitol's experimental weapons division. Elsewhere, Peter Dinklage will play Casca Highbottom, the dean of the Academy and unintentional creator of the Hunger Games.
See the actors in character in the posters below.
Other cast additions include Fionnula Flanagan, Scott Folan, Honor Gillies, Burn Gorman, Michael Greco, Daniela Grubert, Isobel Jesper Jones, Eike Onyambu, Carl Spencer, Konstantin Taffet, and Flora Li Thiemann.
When will it debut in theaters?
Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled to hit theaters worldwide on Nov. 17, 2023.
Will there be any returning cast members from the original trilogy?
It's currently unclear whether any of the original cast members — such as Liam Hemsworth , Woody Harrelson , Elizabeth Banks , Tucci, Lenny Kravitz , or Willow Shields — will return in some capacity, but it seems unlikely given that Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place more than six decades before the originals.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, and it shows Lucy Gray and mentor Coriolanus' fight for life or death. In it, Lucy Gray makes a spectacle of herself at the reaping, commanding the country's attention with a defiant song while her mentor decides the best path forward. It also offers a first look at Davis' sinister head gamemaker and Dinklage's Academy dean, who takes a swig of some booze that's reminiscent of Harrelson's hardened mentor Haymitch Abernathy.
In conversation with Empire magazine, Lawrence teased Lucy Gray's fight ahead, calling Lucy Gray the "anti-Katniss."
"Katniss was an introvert and a survivor," the director said. "She was quite quiet and stoic, you could almost say [she was] asexual. Lucy Gray is the opposite. She wears her sexuality on her sleeve, [and] she really is a performer."
Whereas Katniss was a reluctant face of the rebellion and did not care for the spotlight, Lucy Gray "loves crowds," Lawrence said. "She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people."
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Want more movie news? Sign up for Entertainment Weekly 's free newsletter to get the latest trailers, celebrity interviews, film reviews, and more.
- The Hunger Games return! Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage arrive in Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes trailer
- Rachel Zegler shares first look at Peter Dinklage in Hunger Games prequel with video tour of set
- The Hunger Games prequel drops first look at Rachel Zegler's Lucy Gray and Tom Blyth's Snow
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Hunger Games heads back to the movies with a prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Coming November 2023; unfortunately, we don’t know who will be in it yet
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Panem’s battle royale will soon be back on the big screen. The Hunger Games prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes , is getting a movie adaptation next year, Lionsgate announced on Thursday. The new movie will premiere Nov. 17, 2023.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a book written by Suzanne Collins, the author of the original Hunger Games trilogy. The book serves as a prequel to the story of Katniss Everdeen and follows Coriolanus Snow, the president of Panem during the trilogy, as a young man.
The story focuses on Snow’s time with a mysterious and rebellious girl from District 12 named Lucy Gray Baird, whom he mentors through the 10th Hunger Games. Of course, fans of the series will remember that Katniss also hails from District 12 when she comes along to oppose Snow’s regime over 60 years later in the story.
Despite its quickly approaching release date, Lionsgate did not announce any of the cast for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes . The studio did reveal that the movie adaptation will be directed by Francis Lawrence, who also directed Hunger Games: Catching Fire as well as Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2 . The movie will be written by Catching Fire writer Michael Arndt.
The movie was announced during Lionsgate’s presentation at Cinemacon, a yearly conference in Las Vegas where movie studios present their upcoming projects to theaters owners.
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All the Details on ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’
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May the odds ever be in our favor as the long-awaited “ Hunger Games ” prequel film heads for theaters.
Based on Suzanne Collins’ novel “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes ,” the prequel film will reveal the origin story behind the world of viral “The Hunger Games” series, which starred Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson in a love triangle at the root of the post-apocalyptic life-or-death tournament comprised of teen tributes.
Find out all the details on “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” below.
What’s the Plot?
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is set during the 10th-annual Hunger Games. An 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is selected to mentor District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird, played by “West Side Story” and “Snow White” star Rachel Zegler.
Coriolanus is the “last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol,” per an official Lionsgate synopsis. “But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”
Meet the Cast
“Billy the Kid” and “The Gilded Age” actor Tom Blyth will portray the younger version of Donald Sutherland’s iconic ruler Coriolanus Snow. Blyth also recently starred in Terrence Davies’ Siegfried Sassoon biopic “Benediction” as World War I-era theater actor and director Glen Byam Shaw.
Zegler’s “West Side Story” co-star Josh Andrés Rivera is set to portray Coriolanus’ friend Sejanus Plinth. “Euphoria” breakout star Hunter Schafer has been cast as Tigris, Coriolanus’ cousin and confidante, who is a Capitol stylist. Eugenie Bondurant played Tigris in the original franchise, with “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” revealing Tigris’ familial connection to Coriolanus.
These Tributes (and Mentors) Are Out for Blood
Jerome Lance plays Marcus, Lucy’s fellow tribute from District 12. Ashley Liao stars as Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus’ closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11. Aamer Husain stars as Felix Ravinstill, another mentor to a tribute from District 11. Knox Gibson will be Bobbin, a tribute from District 8, while “Mare of Easttown” alum Mackenzie Lansing is Coral, a tribute from District 4.
Additional cast members include Max Raphael as Festus Creed, a mentor to a District 4 tribute. Zoe Renee, hot off of Sundance award winner “Master,” portrays Lysistrata Vickers, mentor to a tribute from District 12. Ayomide Adegun is set to star as Pliny “Pup” Harrington, a mentor to a District 7 tribute. Kaitlyn Akinpelumi will star as Domita Whimsiwick, mentor to a tribute from District 10. Ukrainian actress and advocate Sofia Sanchez is set to portray District 8 tribute Wovey, with Amélie Hoeferle as Vipsania Sickle, a mentor to a District 7 tribute.
Irene Boehm will play Lamina, a tribute from District 7. Cooper Dillon is Mizzen, a tribute from District 4. Luna Kuse is set to star as Brandy, a tribute from District 10. Kjell Brutscheidt will be another District 10 tribute named Tanner. Dimitri Abold is Reaper, a tribute from District 11.
Tony Award nominee Fionnula Flanagan is confirmed to play Grandma’am, the grandmother of Tom Blyth’s Coriolanus Snow. “The Dark Knight Rises” actor Burn Gorman will play Commander Hoff.
Isobel Jesper Jones will be the Mayfair Lipp, the daughter of the District 12 mayor. Flora Li Thiemann is a mentor to a tribute from District 1; Honor Gillies, Eike Onyambu, Konstantin Taffet, Burn Gorman, Scott Folan, Carl Spencer, Michael Greco, and Daniel Grubert round out the cast.
Jason Schartzman Is the Master of Ceremonies
Jason Schwartzman was officially confirmed to play Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, the host of the 10th Hunger Games and ancestor to Caesar Flickerman, who would become the voice of Panem and is played by Stanley Tucci in the original “Hunger Games” films.
Peter Dinklage Is the Hunger Games Founder
“Game of Thrones” alum Peter Dinklage is set to star as Casca Highbottom, dean of the Academy and founder of the Hunger Games. Dubbed a “character with secrets,” director Francis Lawrence teased that Casca (Dinklage) is a mentor to a young Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth.
“Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life,” Lawrence stated. “As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus’s fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life.”
Oscar Winner Viola Davis Is a Villainous Head Gamemaker
Academy Award winner Viola Davis will be starring as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games, IndieWire can confirm. The “ Woman King ” actress will be “as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable,” according to director Francis Lawrence.
Dr. Gaul’s mentor relationship with future rule Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is rooted in her being “the games’ most commanding figure.”
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is scheduled to premiere in theaters from Lionsgate on November 17, 2023.
A teaser trailer for the film showing snow-covered branches, icy snakes, and golden songbirds (a Mockingjay, perhaps?) debuted in June 2022.
“You’re invited to return to the Games in 2023,” the clip teased. “The world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake.”
Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth transform into their respective roles for a teaser photo hinting at the love story between tribute Lucy (Zegler) and mentor Coriolanus (Blyth).
Lucy Will Be the “Anti-Katniss”
Rachel Zegler’s heroine Lucy, a tribute for District 12, will be nothing like Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss in the original film series. “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” producer Nina Jacobson told Vanity Fair that Lucy (Zegler) is the “anti-Katniss” as an outgoing protagonist who charms mentor and future Panem dictator Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth).
“She’s a musician, she’s a performer, she’s a charmer,” Jacobson explained. “Snow has never met a girl like this before. He is a shape-shifter who craves control but is drawn to a woman who threatens everything he thought he wanted.”
However, fans can expect a glimpse of Katniss’ own history in the prequel film, based on the novel penned by Suzanne Collins.
Rachel Zegler Shared a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Academy
@tiktok i volunteer as tribute ✋ here’s a first look on set of #TheHungerGames The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes 🕊️🐍 ♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears
Rachel Zegler, who plays Lucy Gray Baird in the prequel film, gave a special tour of the new Capitol set for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” in a behind-the-scenes TikTok video . Zegler showed the Academy, a prestigious Capitol school where students can influence the Hunger Games competition. Tom Blyth is a student at the Academy in the prequel film; Zegler gave a sneak peek at Blyth in character while he playfully stayed camera-shy. Another bit showed Snow’s classmate and friend Sejanus Plinth (Joshua Rivera) and Peter Dinklage in character as Casca Highbottom, dean of the Academy.
The first footage of the prequel film confirmed that “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” marks the shift from the Hunger Games turning into reality TV fodder for the people of Panam. With retro tech and a smaller obstacle course, “Ballad” is turning back the clock on the sprawling Hunger Games competition. Per the official synopsis, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.
A new promotional video for ‘THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES’ has been released. pic.twitter.com/aeZVmecTF3 — Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) August 8, 2023
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