The odds are forever in Rachel Zegler‘s favor!
The West Side Story actress — you know, the one they didn’t invite to the Oscars at first — has been set to star as Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12, in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the wildly successful franchise based on the Suzanne Collins’ novels. The Lionsgate YA dystopian pic is set to debut November 17, 2023 with Francis Lawrence returning to the director’s chair (he directed three of the four initial Hunger Games installments).
The logline for the prequel reads:
“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 who is a snake.”
Franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson are also set to return to produce with Lawrence. The latest draft of the script was written by Michael Lesslie. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing on behalf of the studio.