Rachel Zegler has been cast as Lucy Gray Baird in ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’.
The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel is set to hit cinemas across the world in November 2023 and is a prequel to the four movies that starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.
Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the previous ‘Hunger Games’ movies, is returning behind the camera with producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson also back for the dystopian sci-fi movie.
Zegler has been cast as Lucy Gray – the girl tribute from the impoverished District 12.
Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement: “When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice through. Rachel embodies all of those skills – she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray.”
Rachel, 21, played Maria in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of ‘West Side Story’ and has also been tapped to play the lead role in the new live-action take on ‘Snow White’.
Jacobson previously suggested that Lucy Gray is very different to Katniss from the original movies.
She said: “Lucy’s a character who is much more aware of the power of her femininity.
“Katniss is much more quiet, a woman of few words. (So) Lucy as a performer is a very different kind of character. Katniss is very survival-orientated. She hunts for her family, she goes into the games because she promises her sister that she’ll be back.
“Katniss knows exactly what she feels and what she values and Lucy is more mysterious and is playing in her own way to the crowd. Lucy is a fun, very different character to bring to the screen.”