The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Lionsgate's The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has cast The Suicide Squad star Viola Davis in a lead role.
Now, she joins an ensemble that also includes Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Josh Andrés Rivera, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer. Lionsgate President Nathan Kahane says, "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."
Filmmaker Francis Lawrence returns to direct The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and he also shed some light on what to expect from the sinister Dr. Gaul.
"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."
Franchise producer Nina Jacobson adds, "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."
In the movie, 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
Vanity Fair, meanwhile, has released a first look at the movie. As you can see below, Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and Lucy Gray (Rachel Zegler) appear to be very close indeed...