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Hunger Games: Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer joins the cast of prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 23/6/2022 Elizabeth Gregory
GettyImages-1167890861.jpeg © Getty Images for InStyle GettyImages-1167890861.jpeg

Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer will join The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel film that is currently in the works.

She is set to play Tigris Snow, the cousin of Coriolanus Snow – the man who eventually becomes the callous president of the Panem nation.

The film is based on the 2020 Hunger Games spin-off novel by American author Suzanne Collins. It will tell the story of the once-wealthy Snow family, who have fallen on hard times. Coriolanus and Tigris now live together in an apartment they can’t afford, struggling to buy either food or clothes.

Due to his academic excellence, Coriolanus is assigned to guide Lucy Gray Baird at the 10th annual Hunger Games, and so the scene is set for another terrifying adventure.

Schafer will join Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler in the film. Tom Blyth, whose past credits include Scott and Sid and Benediction, will play Coriolanus, while Rachel Zegler, who made her film debut in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story (and won a Golden Globe for it, no less) will play Lucy.

In early June, the first teaser trailer of the upcoming film was released. The one minute thirty second clip showed the thawing of a frozen branch. As the camera zoomed out it reveals a golden songbird. In the Hunger Games, a mockingjay is a symbol of hope and rebellion.

“To return to the games in 2023, the world will discover who is a songbird, and who is a snake,” says the trailer.

Francis Lawrence, who directed I Am Legend, Red Sparrow and the three last Hunger Games films, returns for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

According to Variety, Michael Lesslie, who wrote the screenplay for Assassin’s Creed, is currently working on the script. Previous drafts had been worked on by Collins and Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt.

There is a good argument for releaseing a fifth Hunger Games instalment: each of the films has pulled in at least close to $700 million at the worldwide box office. The first film, The Hunger Games, was released in 2012 and starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in a televised game where candidates fight each other to the death.

Suzanne Collins penned all three of the Hunger Games books, and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is her first spin-off since the worldwide success of the trilogy.

Hunter Schafer rose to fame playing Jules Vaughn in the hit teen drama Euphoria, which was first released in 2019. Schafer also played Ruka Watanabe in the 2022 Japanese animated science fantasy film Belle, but joining the cast of Hunger Games is her first major role outside of the HBO series.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be released in theatres worldwide on November 17, 2023

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