Viola Davis Cast As Hunger Games Prequel Villain

Loved Viola Davis in How To Get Away With Murder, The Help, and Suicide Squad? Well, look no further, because Davis will be playing antagonist Dr Gaul in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, prequel to The Hunger Games movie franchise.

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Joining the star-studded cast of Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow, Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, Hunter Schafer as Tigris, and more, is Viola Davis! The Academy Award winner has been cast as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, head Gamemaker and a giant antagonist to Coriolanus Snow.


The same production company that released The Hunger Games movie franchise is in charge of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel movie to the original series. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane made an announcement about their casting of Viola Davis:

“The Hunger Games films have always been elevated by their exceptional casting, and we are thrilled to be continuing that tradition with Viola Davis as Volumnia Gaul,” Kahane said in a statement. “Her formidable and powerful presence will add layers of complexity and menace to this story.”


The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes director Francis Lawrence, who also directed the original Hunger Games movies, added, “Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable. Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure.”

The producer, Nina Jacobson, also gave her insight on the casting, saying:

From the beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the finely layered intelligence and emotion she brings to every role. 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.”

Viola Davis reference photo for prequel

Dr. Gaul is the creator of the mutts that end up killing a lot of the tributes in the Games and is also responsible for hurting Clemensia Dovecote, one of the mentors and daughter of the Capitol’s energy secretary. A top professor at the Capitol’s University and a highly-ranked scientist in the Capitol’s experimental weapons division at the Citadel, Dr. Gaul is one of the primary antagonists of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

While the movie does not come out until November 17, 2023, the star-studded cast is slowly but surely being announced, creating a lot of anticipation for fans of The Hunger Games franchise. Given the involvement of Suzanne Collins, author of the book and the original Hunger Games trilogy, and Frances Lawrence, director of the entire Hunger Games franchise to date, the movie promises to be a must-watch!


Until we get more news about the upcoming prequel movie, click here to read more about Suzanne Collins, and stay tuned for more news from the Capitol!