Viola Davis has joined Lionsgate’s Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
via: The Wrap
Davis will play Volumnia Gaul, the calculating head gamemaker for the Hunger Games, and star alongside a cast led by Tom Blyth and “West Side Story” star Rachel Zegler.
“The Hunger Games films have always been elevated by their exceptional casting, and we are thrilled to be continuing that tradition with Viola Davis as Volumnia Gaul. Her formidable and powerful presence will add layers of complexity and menace to this story,” said Lionsgate motion picture group president Nathan Kahane.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” tells the origin story of Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem and chief adversary of Katniss Everdeen in the “Hunger Games” trilogy. Blyth plays Snow as an 18-year-old who tries to turn around his family’s fall from power as the mentor for Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), a tribute from District 12 sent to compete in the Hunger Games.
Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four “Hunger Games” films, returns for this new project alongside series producer Nina Jacobson. Lawrence and Brad Simpson will also produce, with Tim Palen and “Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins as executive producers.
“Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable,” Lawrence said. “Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure.”
“From the beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the finely layered intelligence and emotion she brings to every role,” Jacobson added. “A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul is instrumental in shaping a young Coriolanus Snow into the man he will become. We are incredibly fortunate to have an actor with Viola’s extraordinary range and presence to play this pivotal role.”