Nearly a decade after “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” debuted in theaters and brought the YA action franchise to a close, Lionsgate is heading back into the arena. But this time, there’s no Katniss, no Peeta and none of the high-tech horrors that awaited them.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is instead taking us back to the early days — the 10th Annual Hunger Games. So, just low-tech horrors.
That means audiences are about to meet a (mostly) new ensemble of characters and an all-new cast of actors playing them. Lionsgate has debuted a batch of “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” posters introducing all of them, including Tom Blyth as young Coriolanus Snow, “Euphoria” star Hunter Schafer as Tigris and “West Side Story” breakout Rachel Zegler as District 12 contestant Lucy Gray.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” arrives in theaters on Nov. 17. For now, meet the new faces of “The Hunger Games” below.
Set 64 years before “The Hunger Games,” “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” introduces audiences to young Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth (“Billy the Kid”). Struggling with his family’s failing legacy, the future president of Panem takes a position as a mentor in the 10th Annual Hunger Games in the hopes of shepherding his tribute — and himself — to victory.
Future “Snow White” Rachel Zegler stars as Lucy Gray Baird, the District 12 tribute assigned to Coriolanus. Though she isn’t as physically intimidating or combat-ready as some of her counterparts in the arena, Lucy Gray charms Panem with her wits and talents, making her an unlikely contender.
Coriolanus Snow isn’t the only character audiences might recognize from the original “Hunger Games” movies — Tigris is also back, but she might not be as easy to recognize. “Euphoria” star Hunter Schafer plays Tigris, Coriolanus’ cousin and close friend, who he confides in as he tries to navigate their family back to wealth and prestige. The last time we saw Tigris in “Mockingjay – Part 2,” she was tattooed and modified to look like a literal tiger, helping Katniss sneak into the Capitol and harbored a serious hatred for President Snow, so look forward to meeting a very different version of the sartorial standout.
Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis stars as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, brilliant scientist, mutations mastermind (seen above with one of her deceptively beautiful creations) and head gamemaker of the 10th Hunger Games.
“Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage plays morphling-addicted Casca Highbottom; creator of The Hunger Games, Dean of the Academy and rival to Coriolanus.
Zegler’s fellow “West Side Story” scene-stealer Josh Andrés Rivera stars as Sejanus Plinth. A fellow mentor in the 10th Hunger Games, Sejanus is friends with Coriolanus and shares a more sympathetic mindset toward the tributes.
Before Caesar, there was Lucky. Jason Schwartzman stars as Lucky Flickerman, the first-ever host of the Hunger Games. If that surname sounds familiar, it’s because he shares it with Caesar Flickerman, the charismatic host throughout Katniss and Peeta’s games, who was played by Stanley Tucci in the films.