Viola Davis joins the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Viola Davis has joined the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Davis will star as Head Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul in returning director Francis Lawrence’s upcoming film. The Oscar-winning actress will be joined by a cast led by Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler, as she helps design the deadly challenges for the 10th annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to be released on November 17, 2023 in cinemas worldwide.
“The Hunger Games films have always been elevated by their exceptional cast, and we’re thrilled to continue that tradition with Viola Davis as Volumnia Gaul,” said Nathan Kahane, President of Lionsgate’s Film Group. “His formidable and powerful presence will add layers of complexity and menace to this story.”
Based on the young adult novels by Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes serves as a prequel and spin-off to The Hunger Games trilogy. Set in the dystopian world of Panem, Lawrence’s latest film picks up with an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Blyth) – before becoming president – as the last hope for his dying bloodline. As the 10th Hunger Games approaches, he is tasked with mentoring impoverished District 12 tribute girl Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler).
But after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem by singing defiantly during the harvest ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the tide in their favor. The two youngsters team up, uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political leadership, and race against time to finally reveal who the snake and the songbird is between them.
“Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is fearsome. Snow’s craftsmanship as a political operative grows largely through his experiences with her as the games’ most dominant figure,” a says director Lawrence Davis’ (The Suicide Squad) character Gaul is described as the most treacherous, serving as Gamemaker and instructor at the Academy, while leading the charge on horrific “mutations” in a lab underground.
“From the start, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the subtle intelligence and emotion she brings to every role. A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul helps mold young Coriolanus Snow into the man that he will become. We are incredibly lucky to have an actor with Viola’s extraordinary range and presence to play this pivotal role,” said producer Nina Jacobson.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes also stars Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) as Tigris Snow, Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Casca Highbottom, Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom) as Lucretius ‘Lucky’ Flickerman, Kjell Brutscheidt as Tanner, and Ashley Liao as Clemensia Dovecote.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents will be released on November 17, 2023 in theaters worldwide.