Rachel Zegler Joins ‘The Hunger Games’ Prequel As Lucy Gray Baird

Rachel Zegler joins The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Rachel Zegler West Side Story The Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence

Rachel Zegler, star of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, is officially joining the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as Lucy Gray Baird.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is slated for release in November next year and will take audiences back to Panem and the world of the Hunger Games franchise. Based on a book of the same name by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows future president Coriolanus Snow in his youth, as he mentors District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird.

From The West Side To Panem

Rachel Zegler made her first film appearance last year, in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, where she wowed audiences as Maria. She can next be seen in this year’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, where she will be playing a daughter of Atlas.

Zegler will be starring opposite Tom Blyth in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. As was recently announced, Blyth will be playing the young Coriolanus Snow.

Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, spoke about the Rachel Zegler’s casting in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, saying:

“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.”

The film’s producer, Nina Jacobson, spoke a little more about the casting process for Lucy Gray Baird:

“Lucy Gray is an incredibly complex character, a performer who has to use every skill in her arsenal to survive. Our casting team, Deb Zane and Dylan Jury, spearheaded an exhaustive search, reading hundreds of actors in search of our perfect Lucy Gray. That search ended when Rachel Zegler blew the roof off with her depth and breadth of talent as an actor, singer, and performer. Rachel is utterly compelling; just like Lucy Gray, her voice and charisma command the stage while her inner strength and humanity transform those around her.”

Here is the premise for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:

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 Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will hit theaters on November 17, 2023. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for more updates on the upcoming prequel starring Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth. You can also subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.