The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Recruits Fionnula Flanagan & More

Lionsgate continues to expand the ensemble cast of its upcoming prequel to The Hunger GamesThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, with the addition of eleven new cast members. Production is currently underway on the Rachel Zegler-led sci-fi action film.

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These additions include Emmy winner Fionnula Flanagan (A Christmas Carol), who has signed on for the role of Grandma’am — Coriolanus’s strict grandmother, Scott Folan (Brotherhood) as peacekeeper Beanpole, Honor Gillies as Covey member Barb Azure, Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim) as Commander Hoff, Michael Greco (Eastenders) as Strabo Plinth, Daniela Grubert (Little Shop of Horrors) as Mrs. Plinth, Isobel Jesper Jones (The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself ) as District 12 mayor’s daughter Mayfair Lipp, Eike Onyambu (Romeo and Juliet) as Covey member Tam Amber, Carl Spencer (Rocketman) as peacemaker Smiley, violinist Konstantin Taffet as Covey member Clerk Carmine, and Flora Li Thiemann (Tigermilk) as mentor Livia Cardew.

“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.”

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. The film stars Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Viola Davis, and Peter Dinklage.

Additional cast includes Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Josh Andrés Rivera, Max Raphael, Zoe Renee, Ayomide Adegun, Kaitlyn Akinpelumi, Amelie Hoeferle, Sofia Sanchez, Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples, Hiroki Berrecloth, Irene Boehm, Cooper Dillon, Luna Kuse, Kjell Brutscheidt, Dimitri Abold, Athena Strates, Dakota Shapiro, George Somner, and Vaughan Reilly.

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Written by Michael Lesslie and based on a draft by Collins and Michael Arndt, the film is being 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.

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