A pride month miracle has blessed us today with the news that Hunter Schafer has reportedly secured a role in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and honestly, the idea of Schafer running around shooting arrows for 2-plus hours sparks the most joy.
Schafer will apparently play Tigris Snow, Coriolanus' cousin and mentor, and will appear alongside Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler – who has secured the role of the new Katniss Everdeen, holding the role of Lucy Gray, the female tribute from District 12. While it's still early days on all things related to this production, here's what we know so far about The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
As with the original Hunger Games, the prequel is an adaptation from Suzanne Collins' recent 2020 book, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and reportedly stays loyal to the plot of the book, for the die-hard fans out there. While original breakout star Jennifer Lawrence won't be returning to the franchise, the Hunger Games universe still remains, being set in post-war Panem and focussing on Coriolanus Snow's villain origin story, basically.
Snow's character is an ambitious and odd 18-year-old boy who grows into the infamous President Snow, but before doing so, is tasked with the mentorship of Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from the poverty-stricken District 12. In the novel, Gray becomes known when she sings at a reaping ceremony, which Coriolanus, as her mentor, hopes to use to gain favour.
“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,” Deadline reported on the film.
As mentioned, Hunter Schafer, Rachel Zeglar, and Tom Blyth have been confirmed as part of the cast, with Zeglar leading the role of Lucy, and Blyth as a young Coriolanus Snow.
Lionsgate confirmed Zeglar's role after an “exhaustive search,” they found their Lucy in Zegler. “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,” Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group said.
Francis Lawrence, the director of the Hunger Games prequel and original franchise, said “Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”
Zegler has also shared that her boyfriend Josh Andrés Rivera will also star alongside her.
When will it be released?
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to hit cinemas on Nov. 17, 2023.