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First Look at story: The Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Viola Davis cast as villain

First Look at story: The Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Viola Davis cast as villain

Return to The Hunger Games, the landmark film franchise that has earned over $3 billion globally, with Lionsgate’s adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ #1 New York Times Bestseller The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol.

Davis will play Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games.. Other announced stars include Josh Andrés Rivera, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer.

Director Francis Lawrence told #VanityFair:

This is very much a story about love,” says Francis Lawrence. The sentiment may be surprising, coming from the director of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes—but there’s far more to this prequel than the Games you’re expecting. “It’s this kind of love story set in a different kind of a world in a different time,” he adds. “A very intimate love story.” He isn’t wrong.

Set roughly 64 years before the saga told in the original Hunger Games quadrilogy, the new film—based on Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins’s 2020 novel—follows Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) decades before he becomes the most powerful man in the dystopian land of Panem. Still, the future president Snow, played in the Hunger Games films by Donald Sutherland, is no less ambitious as a high school student. “He is a young man finding his way in the world, but he also makes choices that presage the man he is becoming,” producer Nina Jacobson says. Over the course of the film, he’ll find himself caught between two forces of nature: the charming Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) and the villainous Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis). “He is a shape-shifter who craves control, but is drawn to a woman who threatens everything he thought he wanted.”

With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), 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 Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

Cast: Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer,

Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman, and Viola Davis.

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Screenplay by: Michael Arndt and Michael Lesslie

Based on the Novel by: Suzanne Collins

See Also

Produced by: Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Francis Lawrence

Executive Producers: Suzanne Collins, Jim Miller, Tim Palen, Mika Saito

U.S. Release Date: November 17, 2023 UK Release to be confirmed


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