Viola Davis is joining the cast of the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, for Lionsgate. She joins previously cast Tom Blyth, Josh Andrés Rivera, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer.
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The film will be adapted from Suzanne Collins novel that is set 64 years before Katniss Everdeen’s rise to prominence in the broken society of Panem.
The prequel’s synopsis reads: “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus 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’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird and a snake.”
Davis will play Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games.
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Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games movies, will return to direct The Hunger Games prequel. Lawrence will also produce, alongside franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson. Collins and Tim Palen will executive produce. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing on behalf of the studio.
“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. Her formidable and powerful presence will add layers of complexity and menace to this story,” said Lionsgate motion picture group president Nathan Kahane.
Ahead of the Hunger Games prequel, Davis will next be seen in The Woman King, Black Adam, and this upcoming Nike Air Jordan project.
This news was first reported on THR.