On Monday, Giant Freakin Robot reported that our trusted and proven source had let us know that Rachel Zegler had been tapped to play the female lead in the upcoming The Hunger Games prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Now it’s been confirmed — Zegler has officially been cast as Lucy Gray Baird, the hero of the prequel.
Deadline confirmed the casting earlier today. Rachel Zegler will lead the Hunger Games prequel. It makes Zegler only the second cast member to be announced for the movie. Earlier in May, it was announced that Tom Blyth (Billy the Kid) had been cast as the young Coriolanus Snow — the part played by Donald Sutherland in the previous four movies. Zegler. on the other hand, will play Lucy Gray Baird, a competitor of the 10th annual Hunger Games.
Now that we know with 100% certainty that Rachel Zegler will appear in the Hunger Games prequel, it means we know something about the young actress — she likes to give her fans codebreaking hints. Yesterday, the West Side Story star posted a very cryptic message to social media. The message read, “listen up….. can y’all grow restfully? are you becoming an individual resting decisively?” What in the heck was she talking about? Well, fans quickly figured out that if you take the first letter in every word of Zegler’s strange tweet, it spells out the name of Lucy Gray Baird. You can see for yourself in the tweet below.
The Hunger Games prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, was announced the month prior to the novel it’s based on hitting shelves for hungry fans. Directed by Francis Lawrence — who has directed all of the franchise’s films with the sole exception of the inaugural film which was helmed by Gary Ross — The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes promises to turn the clock back 60 years before Coriolanus Snow ascends to the presidency. Things change for the future tyrant when he’s chosen to mentor Zegler’s character.
Last August news came that the Hunger Games prequel would be in production by this year. In April, as reported by Collider, Lionsgate reserved November 17, 2o23 for the release date of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. With the two leads chosen and announced, that would seem to put things on target for the movie to begin filming by the end of 2022.
Both the Hunger Games prequel and the films that precede it are based on the bestselling novel series of the same name by Suzanne Collins. The saga is set in the dystopian nation of Panem and the series is named after the annual battle royale in which children from 12 impoverished districts are selected for a battle to the death. While Collins has not completely ruled out the possibility of another book in the series, so far she hasn’t announced any follow-ups to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Along with The Hunger Games, she also has an epic fantasy book series called The Underland Chronicles.