Rachel Zegler cast in Hunger Games prequel

Rachel Zegler has been cast as the lead in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

The actor previously teased the announcement in a tweet (opens in new tab), writing, “Listen up…Can y’all grow restfully? Are you becoming an individual resting decisively?” Fans were quick to point out that the first letter of each word spells out Lucy Gray Baird – one of the main characters in Suzanne Collins’ book of the same name.

The book, set in the Hunger Games universe, follows Coriolanus Snow, a young boy tasked with mentoring Lucy, a District 12 tribute in the 10th Hunger Games who shocks the Capitol by singing during the reaping. Snow is set to be played by Tom Blyth, star of Billy the Kid and co-star of The Gilded Age.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane praised Zegler’s casting, stating, “When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills — she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray.”

Zegler won the Golden Globe for Best Actress at just 20-years-old for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, her major motion picture debut. She is currently filming Disney’s live-action Snow White, in which she stars as the beloved princess, and is in the upcoming DC flick Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to hit theaters on November 17, 2023. For more, check out our list of the best upcoming movies in 2022 and beyond.

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