Lionsgate has announced that Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited) has officially signed on to star opposite Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in the forthcoming The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Schwartzman is set to portray the role of Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, who will be the host of the 10th Hunger Games. The character serves as the ancestor of Caesar Flickerman, portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the original films.
RELATED: The Hunger Games Prequel Taps a New Batch of Tributes and Mentors
Based on the 2020 prequel novel by Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set 64 years before the events of the Hunger Games trilogy, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games, where an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is assigned as the mentor for the tribute girl from the impoverished District 12.
“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,” reads the synopsis. “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.”
RELATED: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series Casts Grover and Annabeth
Written by Michael Lesslie and based on a draft by Collins and Michael Arndt, the film will be helmed by Hunger Games films director Francis Lawrence. It will be shepherded by franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her producing partner Brad Simpson, along with Francis Lawrence. Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller will serve as executive producers. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing on behalf of the studio.
The prequel is currently scheduled for a November 17, 2023 theatrical release.