“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has added some more names to its growing cast.
“The Hunger Games” prequel series has already announced that Tom Blyth will play a young President Coriolanus Snow and “West Side Story” alum Rachel Zegler has been cast as a tribute named Lucy Gray Baird.
Francis Lawrence, who directed most of the films in the original “The Hunger Games” franchise, will return to direct the prequel movie as well.
‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Casts New District 12 Tribute
On Tuesday, Deadline announced that Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples, and Hiroki Berrecloth are going to be joining the large cast.
The most notable of the cast members is Benson, who has been cast as the male tribute from District 12 along with Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler. Marsden will play Mayfair Lipp, who places Lucy’s name into contention for Panem’s tenth annual Hunger Games.
Steeples and Berrecloth will play two new tributes: Steeples will play Dill from District 11 and Berrecloth will play Treech from District 7. Cooper will play Arachne Crane, who is a mentor to a tribute from District 10.
Earlier this month, Deadline reported that Jerome Lance has been cast as Marcus, a tribute from District 2. Ashley Liao has been cast as Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus’ closest friends and a mentor to a tribute from District 11.
Knox Gibson will play Bobbin, the tribute from District 8. Mackenzie Lansing will play Coral, the tribute from District 4. Aamer Husain will play Felix Ravinstill, the mentor to a tribute from District 11.
The prequel series is set years before Coriolanus Snow rose to power as the President of Panem in “The Hunger Games” series. At this time, an 18-year-old Snow acts as a mentor to District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird in the 10th annual Hunger Games. A synopsis for “The Hunger Games” prequel movie reads:
“Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-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 girl 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’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”
‘West Side Story’ Alum Rachel Zegler To Star As The District 12 Tribute Lucy Gray Baird
Although Jennifer Lawrence became her household name for her portrayal as the female tribute from District 12, Katniss Everdeen, in the original trilogy, dancer Rachel Zegler has been cast as Lucy Gray Baird in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”
Nathan Kahane, President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, praised Zegler’s casting. In a statement, Kahane said, “When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills — she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray.”
Many fans were also excited about the casting as well and took to social media to praise the young actress.
Tom Blyth Stars As A Young Coriolanus Snow In ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’
Fans might recognize Tom Blyth from “Billy the Kid” and “The Gilded Age.” In a statement regarding Blyth’s casting, director Francis Lawrence said, “Coriolanus Snow is many things — a survivor, a loyal friend, a cutthroat, a kid quick to fall in love, and a young man ambitious to his core.”
He continued, “Tom’s take on the character showed us all the complex ambiguities of this young man as he transforms into the tyrant he would become.”
Producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson also praised Tom’s performance in the film. In a statement, Jacobson said, “Tom’s performance will both fulfill and disrupt everything you think you know about Coriolanus Snow.”
She continued, “He’s a tremendous talent who will show why Snow always lands on top.”
“The Hunger Games” prequel movie, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” is currently scheduled for a theatrical release on Thursday, November 17, 2023.