Hunger Games Prequel Casts West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler In Lead Role

Rachel Zegler to star as Lucy Gray in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds.

Rachel Zegler The Hunger Games

Lionsgate has cast Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The film is the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ #1 New York Times bestseller. Zegler will star as the female lead in the film opposite Tom Blyth, who will play the young Coriolanus Snow. Zegler is best known for her performance as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. In addition, she will appear in DC Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu, debuting this December. Currently, she is filming the title role in Disney’s live-action Snow White, directed by Marc Webb.


Years before becoming the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage. This once-proud family 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 a songbird is and a snake.

Fans will finally get to return to The Hunger Games with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Francis Lawrence directs it. He previously directed the franchise’s Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part One, and Mockingjay Part Two. It will debut in theaters worldwide on November 17, 2023. 

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Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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