Rachel Zegler Joins the ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel

0
92


Rachel Zegler to star as Lucy Gray Baird in Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.'

Rachel Zegler to star as Lucy Gray Baird in Lionsgate’s ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.’ Photo credit: Nathan Johnson.

Originally confirmed as in the early stages of production last month as part of Lionsgate’s big CinemaCon presentation, the ‘Hunger Games’ prequel movie ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ is pushing ahead in locking down its lead cast. ‘Billy the Kid’s Tom Blyth was announced earlier this month as the younger version of Coriolanus Snow, the man who will go on to become the tyrannical President of Panem (and played by Donald Sutherland in the ‘Games’ movies).

Now we know who will star as the young tribute who impacts his life years before he ascends to command the county: ‘West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler.

Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the ‘Hunger Games’ movies based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling book series, is back behind the camera for this new one, which has seen script work from Michael Arndt and, more recently, Michael Lesslie.

The story finds 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow as 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’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

(L to R) Ezra Menas, Ben Cook, Sean Harrison Jones, Mike Faist, Patrick Higgins, Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, David Alvarez, Julius Anthony Rubio, Ricardo Zayas, Josh Andrés Rivera, Sebastian Serra, and Carlos Sánchez Falú in 'West Side Story'

(L to R) Ezra Menas, Ben Cook, Sean Harrison Jones, Mike Faist, Patrick Higgins, Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, David Alvarez, Julius Anthony Rubio, Ricardo Zayas, Josh Andrés Rivera, Sebastian Serra, and Carlos Sánchez Falú in ‘West Side Story’

“Like everybody, I first saw Rachel Zegler in ‘West Side Story’, and like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation,” says Lawrence in a statement. “Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”

“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,” says Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“Lucy Gray is an incredibly complex character, a performer who has to use every skill in her arsenal to survive. Our casting team, Deb Zane, and Dylan Jury, spearheaded an exhaustive search, reading hundreds of actors in search of our perfect Lucy Gray. That search ended when Rachel Zegler blew the roof off with her depth and breadth of talent as an actor, singer, and performer. Rachel is utterly compelling; just like Lucy Gray, her voice and charisma command the stage while her inner strength and humanity transform those around her,” says ‘Hunger Games’ producer Nina Jacobson.

Zegler herself recently teased her casting via a cryptic tweet that she has since explained.

‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ will be in theaters on November 17th, 2023. But before that, Zegler will be seen in DC superhero sequel ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ (due out on December 21st this year) and Disney’s live action ‘Snow White’, which is still shooting and will arrive in 2023.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

View Original Source Here