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Book to Film: ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’

Casting for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has just been announced, with Rachel Zegler set to play the lead role in the upcoming film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel.

The next big thing in dystopian film is coming via an adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. Based on The Hunger Games prequel of the same name, it’s set to become the fifth instalment in The Hunger Games film series.

Rachel Zegler shared via a Twitter post today that she is set to portray Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute in The Hunger Games, who is mentored by Coriolanus Snow – Snow who was brilliantly portrayed by Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games and grows up to be the villain in the main Hunger Games novels.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Zegler and Blyth Credit: DF

Zegler made her film debut last year, playing Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, for which she won a Golden Globe and a National Board of Review Award. The young actor broke the news via a mysterious tweet, before it was officially announced, posting, “listen up…..can y’all grow restfully? are you becoming an individual resting decisively?” The first letter of each word spells “Lucy Gray Baird.” She then went on to post two photos of her receiving the news that she won the role in a follow-up tweet that read, “So much joy. I love movies. I cannot believe I get to make them. I am so thankful that this is my life. Thanks for being on this ride with me. see ya later.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, best known for playing the title role in Billy the Kid. The screenplay is being written by Michael Lesslie (Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed) and will be directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend), which could mean a grittier and darker tone than the earlier Hunger Games films. 

The film adaptation from Lionsgate is set to be released on November 17, 2023.