Following the recent casting of Jason Schwartzman as Host Lucky Flickerman, Lionsgate continues to expand the cast by welcoming the addition of six new actors who will star opposite Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in the forthcoming The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Max Raphael (Slaughterhouse Rulez), Zoe Renee (Master), newcomer Ayomide Adegun (The Continental), Kaitlyn Akinpelumi (The School For Good and Evil), and Amelie Hoeferle (The Boogeywoman) have been tapped for the respective roles of mentors Festus Creed for District 4, Lysistrata Vickers for District 12, Pliny “Pup” Harrington for District 7, Domita Whimsiwick for District 10, and Vipsania Sickle for District 7. Meanwhile, Sofia Sanchez (Switched at Birth) is set for the role of Wovey, a tribute from District 8.
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.”
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.