Peter Dinklage has signed on to star in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. He will play Casca Highbottom alongside the previously announced Tom Blyth as young Coriolanus Snow, Rachel Zegler as tribute Lucy Gray Baird, and Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow.
The movie will be based on Suzanne Collins‘ 2020 book of the same name, set decades before Katniss Everdeen’s adventures in The Hunger Games. Here, Coriolanus Snow is chosen to mentor Lucy Gray, a female tribute from impoverished District 12, during the Hunger Games, the barbaric televised event which randomly selects two teenagers from each district to fight to the death.
The unassuming Lucy sparks everyone’ attention by singing during the reaping ceremony. With her talent and charm, Snow believes he may be able to turn the odds in their favor to win the games. The prequel novels revolve around Snow’s power-hungry ambition, as he eventually becomes the tyrannical leader of the dystopian country of Panem.
Dinklage’s Highbottom is the dean of the Academy, where Snow is a student. Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, said in a statement:
“With production underway, we couldn’t be more excited about the way this cast has come together and thrilled to be welcoming Peter Dinklage to Panem. Peter is not just a fan favorite actor who brings a commanding presence to every part he plays. He is one of the best actors alive. He will bring a formidable, charismatic authority to the important role of the dean of the Academy.”
The movie will be helmed by Francis Lawrence, who previously directed three installments of the franchise. Michael Lesslie has written the screenplay.
Dinklage starred in black comedy American Dreamer earlier this year. He will next be seen as the lead in Macon Blair‘s superhero/comedy/horror remake The Toxic Avenger and is currently in post-production on comedy film Brothers, which also stars Josh Brolin.
Even though the last Hunger Games movie came out less than ten years ago, with the way culture moves so fast nowadays there should be plenty of nostalgia for the franchise from people who grew up with the series. So The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes probably has a good chance of being a hit. It’s currently scheduled to hit cinemas on November 17, 2023.