Following the success of her 2021 musical drama West Side Story, Rachel Zegler has become one of the most sought-after young talents in Hollywood. Her portrayal of Maria earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical and also opened doors to other major roles. The 21-year-old is set to appear in DC’s blockbuster superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods. And she is currently shooting Disney’s live-action adaptation of Snow White opposite Gal Gadot.
But it’s her rumored involvement in the Hunger Games prequel that has everyone talking. Now, Rachel Zegler has added fuel to the fire with a post on social media. Taking to Twitter earlier this week, the Snow White star wrote, “Listen up… Can y’all grow restfully? Are you becoming an individual resting decisively?” The cryptic message broke the internet as fans scrambled to decode it. As it turns out, the first letter of each word in the post spells out the name of the main character in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Lucy Gray Baird.
Although the hidden message doesn’t confirm her casting, it did come after a previous scoop from Giant Freakin Robot which said Rachel Zegler had landed the coveted role. Check out the young actress’ Hunger Games cryptic casting message below:
Meanwhile, People reports that Tom Blyth has been cast as President Coriolanus Snow in the Hunger Games prequel film. The actor is currently starring in Epix’s new Western adventure series Billy the Kid. The authoritarian President Snow was first brought to life on screen by Donald Sutherland in the first four movies. Led by Jennifer Lawrence, the movies chronicled the brutal, annual Hunger Games where two adolescent tributes from each of the 12 districts of Panem are randomly chosen to fight to the death in a televised survival challenge. Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird would possibly be featured in a similar capacity in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place within the Hunger Games universe. Set 64 years before the first book in the original trilogy, the story follows an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, who belongs to a family that was once very wealthy. Hoping to change their bad luck, he gets the break he’s been waiting for when he is selected to mentor one of the tributes in the 10th Annual Hunger Games.
But he’s disappointed to learn that his charge is a 16-year-old girl named Lucy Gray Baird (possibly played by Rachel Zegler) from the poorest area of Panem – District 12. However, Lucy (Rachel Zegler) captivates all of Panem with her singing at the reaping ceremony, as the duo team up to swing the odds ever in their favor. Francis Lawrence, who worked on the last three films in the original Hunger Games series (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Part 1 and 2 of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) will return to direct the new movie from a script by Michael Lesslie. Series author Suzanne Collins will serve as an executive producer alongside Tim Palen.