See Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ First Look

Fans are getting their first peek at a highly anticipated prequel! On Tuesday, Lionsgate unveiled the first photo from The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which features stars Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth.

In the shot, Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird, wearing a purple dress, holds hands with Blyth’s Coriolanus Snow, who’s sporting a T-shirt and jeans, as the pair lounge on a blanket outside. 

The film, a prequel to the Hunger Games franchise, follows 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow years before he becomes the tyrannical President of Panem. In the flick, Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol.

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 Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Murray Close

The first-look photo was released the same week that the studio announced that Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis will portray Head Gamemaker Volumnia Gaul. 

“Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable,” director Francis Lawrence said of Davis’ role in the movie. “Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure.”

“From the beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the finely layered intelligence and emotion she brings to every role,” producer Nina Jacobson added. “A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul is instrumental in shaping a young Coriolanus Snow into the man he will become. We are incredibly fortunate to have an actor with Viola’s extraordinary range and presence to play this pivotal role.”

Additionally, Game of Thrones fan favorite Peter Dinklage has been cast to play Casca Highbottom, dean of the Academy, who holds many secrets close to his vest, and Euphoria star Hunter Schafer will play Tigris Snow, cousin and confidante to Snow, and his advisor in all matters.

Other cast members include Lauren Marsden, Nick Benson, Lily Cooper, Hiroki Berrecloth, Luna Steeples, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jerome Lance, Mackenzie Lansing, Knox Gibson, Aamer Husain and Ashley Liao.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will hit theaters Nov. 17, 2023. 

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