Hunger Games: Stars hit red carpet for world premiere of latest instalment

Stars of Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes have hit the red carpet for its world premiere.

Actress Rachel Zegler greeted screaming fans as the cast celebrated the upcoming film's release in London.

The latest instalment of the billion-dollar film franchise comes after an eight-year gap.

Zegler was joined on the red carpet by co-stars Tom Blyth, Hunter Schafer and Josh Andres Rivera, actors who grew up watching the previous films.

Hunter Schafer
Hunter Schafer wore a gold Prada two piece
Tom Blyth
Tom Blyth plays Panem's tyrannical ruler Coriolanus Snow

Speaking to BBC News about making the film, Zegler said: "I just wanted to do a good service to me and my 12-year-old self that loved the films. And it was just such a joy to get to do that."

"It's unbelievable," said Schafer, a trans actress who found fame starring in HBO's Euphoria. "I don't think 13-year-old me could have comprehended what I'm feeling now."

The fifth instalment of the movies, based on Suzanne Collins' best-selling books, is set 64 years before the first Hunger Games movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.

It sees British actor Blyth play the young Coriolanus Snow, who goes on to become the tyrannical president of dystopian nation Panem.

West Side Story actress Zegler stars as the Lucy Gray Baird, the tribute during the 10th Hunger Games - a gladiatorial contest that pits the oppressed against each other, while the elite of the wealthy Capitol watch on.

"I got to do my own stunts. I got to hold live animals, sing, dance, cry, run for my life. It's amazing," she told Reuters news agency.

The cast had been given a waiver to attend the blockbuster's premiere during the Hollywood actors' strike, before on Wednesday union SAG-AFTRA ended the four-month walkout which prevented movie stars from promoting their films.

Commenting on the strike ending Rivera, who plays Snow's friend, Sejanus Plinth said: "I know a lot of people who are ready to get back to work. I'm ready to get back to work."

Fans meet Rachel Zegler
After waiting since the early hours Hunger Games superfan Cyrille Herman got to meet Rachel Zegler
Josh Andrés Rivera
Josh Andrés Rivera opted for a Dolce & Gabanna suit
Stars of Hunger Games
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the fifth Hunger Games film

Young fans queued and braved the rain and cold to get a chance to meet the actors on the red carpet lined with buckets catching dripping water, as influencers, former Love Island contestants and drag queens turned up for the screening.

Jenifer Bawden, who made costumes inspired by the film for the occasion, told BBC News: "We got here at 05:20 in the morning, it was a lot. We're from Bournemouth.

"The films are so well translated from the book to the film, so I'm very excited to see how they do it this time."

Describing the new film estimated to have cost $100m (£82m), director Francis Lawrence said: "It's a very different kind of movie, very much a Hunger Games movie, but a different kind of story and different characters."

The film is scheduled to be released in cinemas worldwide on 17 November.

director Francis Lawrence
Director Francis Lawrence said he and producers will get talking about another Hunger Games movie
Cast of the film
Cast of the film