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Rachel Zegler cast as Lead in ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’

Lionsgate has cast Rachel Zegler, who played Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel will debut in theaters worldwide Nov. 17, 2023. The company’s Hunger Games franchise had earned over $3 billion globally when it wrapped up in 2014, and it is now looking to extend the life span with the adaptation of Collins’ latest novel in the dystopian series, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games movies — Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part One, and Mockingjay Part Two — is back in the helmer’s seat with franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson back as producers. Lawrence is also producing.

Zegler will play Lucy Gray, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. “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,” Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.

The prequel’s logline from Lionsgate 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.”

The latest draft of the screenplay is by Michael Lesslie. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing on behalf of the studio.

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by Anonymousreply 51June 23, 2022 5:30 PM

I can’t stand her.

by Anonymousreply 1May 31, 2022 5:56 PM

This girl is so unattractive. Her eyes are too far apart. She looks alien.

by Anonymousreply 2May 31, 2022 5:59 PM

She reminds me of Lea Michele personality wise. Beautiful voice but seems like a huge pain in the ass. Social media is completely obnoxious.

by Anonymousreply 3May 31, 2022 6:02 PM

I think Zegler has a much better voice than Michele, who has a very whiny tone.

by Anonymousreply 4May 31, 2022 6:05 PM

Why no mention of Tom Blyth who will play snow?

by Anonymousreply 5May 31, 2022 6:46 PM

I’ve never watched one of these. Is pretty Sam Claflin in all of them? Will he be in this one?

by Anonymousreply 6May 31, 2022 6:50 PM

For the most part, the moment has passed for blockbuster YA adaptations.

They're still mainstays of streaming platforms, but as movie releases, I doubt they'll do as well as their predecessors - certainly not billion dollar franchises.

by Anonymousreply 7May 31, 2022 7:40 PM

This will do fine. The book sold millions of copies.

by Anonymousreply 8May 31, 2022 7:40 PM

Why does Hollywood insist on casting unproven talent in big leading roles? This girl came out of nowhere five minutes ago, how the fuck do they know she can carry a film and audiences want to see her?

by Anonymousreply 9May 31, 2022 7:52 PM

She’s hideous

by Anonymousreply 10May 31, 2022 8:22 PM

She seems exhausting

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by Anonymousreply 11May 31, 2022 8:34 PM

Let's get the obligatory racist screed against Zegler and other swarthy white actors out of the way: *clears throat* This book is about an Aryan goddess that's so pale and so blond haired that she looks like a damn Nordic alien! Once again, woke Hollyweird SJWs are transracializing our beloved and pure White characters to appeal to the mudbl-- "others".

by Anonymousreply 12June 1, 2022 3:55 AM

Cute r12 but Zegler is an untested actress who is more hype than actual talent. She's ordinary and has zero charisma.

by Anonymousreply 13June 1, 2022 4:03 AM

God, I don't hate her because she isn't white (though she seems white to me). Half-Latina of a sort? Shit. Full Latina is often white ok. I hate this chick because... well I don't know why but she bugs!

by Anonymousreply 14June 1, 2022 4:19 AM

Well they can cast her in the lead they don't really have to pay her. Would Sharlene Woodsy get paid more? That hillbilly?

by Anonymousreply 15June 1, 2022 4:20 AM

The term white is used loosely in 2022.

by Anonymousreply 16June 1, 2022 6:15 AM

[quote]I hate this chick because... well I don't know why but she bugs!

She's a theatre kid.

by Anonymousreply 17June 1, 2022 12:16 PM

[quote]Cute [R12] but Zegler is an untested actress who is more hype than actual talent. She's ordinary and has zero charisma.

At the time Jennifer Lawrence was cast in Hunger Games, she was the same.

She was cast for Xmen and Hunger games right around the same time and before Silver Linings.

by Anonymousreply 18June 1, 2022 4:45 PM

Jennifer Lawrence already had an Oscar nomination for Best Actress under her belt, that’s not “untested.”

by Anonymousreply 19June 1, 2022 4:58 PM

Remember when Debose and the Spielberg sisters unfollowed on on social media after her Oscar’s stunt of demanding an invite?

by Anonymousreply 20June 1, 2022 7:01 PM

[quote]Jennifer Lawrence already had an Oscar nomination for Best Actress under her belt, that’s not “untested.”

Xmen filmed between Aug-Dec 2010

Xmen released May 2011

Hunger Games filming began May 2011

Silver Linings filming began Nov 2011

Hunger Games released March 2012

Silver Linings released in Nov 2012.

At the time she got the Hunger Games, the book series was the hottest property since Harry Potter. She was nowhere near an Oscar nomination when she was cast. At the time of her casting, it wouldn't not have even been clear whether she could carry an entire movie, let alone what everyone expected to be a HUGE franchise at the time.

by Anonymousreply 21June 1, 2022 8:34 PM

And Zegler was in Oscar contention. J Law getting in because she fucked Weinstein doesn’t mean they weren’t taking a risk.

by Anonymousreply 22June 1, 2022 8:36 PM

[QUOTE] She was nowhere near an Oscar nomination when she was cast.

You obviously forgot about her first Oscar nomination for “Winter’s Bone” in which she was the LEAD. Missing from your timeline (and would be placed before any of the events you’ve marked).

by Anonymousreply 23June 1, 2022 8:45 PM

From what I've seen of Zegler she's very ordinary and unimpressive.

by Anonymousreply 24June 1, 2022 8:47 PM

I'm already suck of this whiny cunt. I hope five years from now she's doing crapfest movies for Hallmark.

by Anonymousreply 25June 1, 2022 8:50 PM

Lawrence isn’t good in most of her films either.

by Anonymousreply 26June 1, 2022 8:50 PM

[quote]You obviously forgot about her first Oscar nomination for “Winter’s Bone” in which she was the LEAD. Missing from your timeline (and would be placed before any of the events you’ve marked).

Ah, good point. Winter's Bone was released in June 2010. Oscar nominations were announced end of Jan 2011.

The Hunger Games cast announcement happened just before the Oscar nominations annoucement in January 2011.

Interestingly, Saoirse Ronan was also in the running, as were Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld.

by Anonymousreply 27June 1, 2022 8:56 PM

So whom is she fucking? She seems to be getting all the leads these days. Spielberg?

by Anonymousreply 28June 1, 2022 8:57 PM

She’s allegedly fucking her extremely straight boyfriend who played Chino in WSS.

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by Anonymousreply 29June 1, 2022 10:00 PM

R29 lol. He looks like a dark-haired version of Candace Cameron Buré's VERY STRAIGHT son.

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by Anonymousreply 30June 1, 2022 11:43 PM

r30 that guy is supposed to be straight? Somebody needs to check his browser history.

by Anonymousreply 31June 2, 2022 12:01 AM


by Anonymousreply 32June 2, 2022 12:20 AM

Hunter Schafer joins the cast

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by Anonymousreply 33June 22, 2022 8:33 PM

Is Hunter a man?

by Anonymousreply 34June 22, 2022 8:44 PM

[quote]At the time she got the Hunger Games, the book series was the hottest property since Harry Potter.

I completely forgot Jennifer Lawrence had herself this huge franchise like Harry Potter. I just thought she was a Miramax girl.

by Anonymousreply 35June 22, 2022 8:46 PM

JLaw's big breakthrough was definitely Winter's Bone. She got rave reviews and the character is reasonably close to the one she played in the Hunger Games--gritty hillbilly heroine.

RZ, on the other hand, didn't really pull off Maria--I'm not a big Natalie Wood fan and I hate dubbed singing voices--but you felt the pain of Natalie's Maria in the last scene, while RZ's big scene was just kind of flat. That's not a good sign for a would-be star.

by Anonymousreply 36June 22, 2022 8:47 PM

Winters Bone opened doors for J Law. Hunger Games was her big break though.

by Anonymousreply 37June 22, 2022 8:48 PM

Zegler takes her Golden Globe with her when she travels. I think that's a big insight into what kind of person she is.

by Anonymousreply 38June 22, 2022 8:49 PM

She won a Golden Globe??

by Anonymousreply 39June 22, 2022 8:50 PM

R27 FYI Winter's Bone was released in June of 2010 to excellent reviews for both Lawrence in the lead role and the film which had received buzz at Sundance. She received a Golden Globe nomination, a SAG nomination and was nominated by the LA Film Critics in addition to her Oscar nom.

by Anonymousreply 40June 22, 2022 8:51 PM

They've know cast tranny Hunter Schaffer in the movie as a female character.

Hollywood is so fucking beyond satire now. They are doubling down on trying to normalize the idea that a boy can pretend to be a girl and get cast as one in a big movie like this.

by Anonymousreply 41June 23, 2022 12:31 AM

Yes, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe 2021

by Anonymousreply 42June 23, 2022 3:23 AM

R39 (^.^)

by Anonymousreply 43June 23, 2022 3:24 AM


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by Anonymousreply 44June 23, 2022 3:44 AM

Wait, did she really win the GG for Best Actress?

by Anonymousreply 45June 23, 2022 4:01 AM

Keep in mind it was the year no-one wanted a Golden Globe and there was no actual ceremony. And yet she still gloated and thanked them

by Anonymousreply 46June 23, 2022 10:20 AM

And also to add, the GG split best actor/actress into Drama and Comedy or Musical

by Anonymousreply 47June 23, 2022 10:21 AM

Who. Cares??

by Anonymousreply 48June 23, 2022 3:14 PM

R45 she was also named best actress by The National Board of Review! 🙊🐒🙉🐒🙈🐒

by Anonymousreply 49June 23, 2022 3:53 PM

R49, everyone pretty much pegged her as the one NBR acting award which would not translate into an Oscar nomination. Which turned out to be correct.

She’s an annoying little cunt and I think people will barely remember her name in five years.

by Anonymousreply 50June 23, 2022 4:31 PM

She must be quite an asshole to have this bad a reputation this quickly.

by Anonymousreply 51June 23, 2022 5:30 PM
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