Hunger Games Prequel Casts West Side Story Star as Lead

Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth have been cast as Lucy Gray Baird and Coriolanus Snow respectively in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the famous Hunger Games trilogy.

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has found its Lucy Gray Baird! Rachel Zegler, star of 2021’s West Side Story adaptation, will star as the female tribute from District 12 in the 10th Annual Hunger Games alongside Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy that tells the tale of Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in the country of Panem. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place before, during and after the 10th Annual Hunger Games, with Coriolanus Snow, the President of Panem, during the original Hunger Games trilogy, as a teenager and his mentorship of the 1st Hunger Games victor from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird.

Regarding Zegler’s casting as Lucy Gray Baird, who is implied to be an ancestor of Katniss Everdeen, Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group said:

“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.”

The only other cast member that has been announced is that of Tom Blyth. Franchise producer Nina Jacobson declared, “Tom’s performance will both fulfill and disrupt everything you think you know about Coriolanus Snow. He’s a tremendous talent who will show why Snow always lands on top.” Director Francis Lawrence, who also directed the Hunger Games movie franchise, also stated that Blythe’s performance “showed us all the complex ambiguities of this young man as he transforms into the tyrant he would become.”


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released on May 19, 2020 and the movie will be released on November 17, 2023. The book received generally positive reviews from critics and while it is currently unknown how accurate the movie adaptation will remain to the books, the original Hunger Games movie franchise was very accurate to the trilogy, thus indicating that the prequel will follow along those same roots.

For more news about Suzanne Collins and her works, click here and stay tuned for more updates about The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie adaptation!