EXCLUSIVE: The ensemble cast of Lionsgate’s prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes keeps growing, and we’ve heard first that Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples and Hiroki Berrecloth are joining the Francis Lawrence directed title opposite Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler and Josh Andrés Rivera.
The prequel is set years before Coriolanus Snow (Blyth) becomes the fierce President of Panem. The 18-year-old 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 (Zegler), 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.
Benson will play Jessup, the tribute from District 12 alongside Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird; Marsden will play will play Mayfair Lipp, who places Baird’s name into contention for the tenth Hunger Games; Cooper will play Arachne Crane, mentor to a tribute from District 10; Steeples will play Dill, tribute from District 11; and Berrecloth will play Treech, tribute from District 7.
Deadline first reported about last week’s initial round-up of tributes and mentors in the prequel.
Benson is a USC grad with a BFA in Acting for Screen, Stage, and New Media. Since graduation he has filmed recurring roles in Netflix’s Boo, Bitch and Disney+’s Big Shot. He is represented by SMS Talent and Untitled Entertainment.
Marsden can currently be seen in the Disney+/Marvel series Ms. Marvel has the cool girl in high school, Zoe Zimmer. She recently completed production on All Fun and Games opposite Asa Butterfield and Natalia Dyer. The actress previously starred alongside Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins in Quibi’s Survive. She is represented by Encompass and Zero Gravity Management.
Cooper trained at Identity School of Acting in London. Her credits include the role of Murta in The Witcher series. She is represented by the Identity Agency Group.
Steeples’ credits include the series Overdue. She is repped by Jackson Entertainment Management (JEM) and Skrzyniarz & Mallean.
Berrecloth appeared in the BBC’s Red Rose and the short films Black Lichen, The Intruder, and Why Do You Look at Me with Those Eyes?. He is represented by Simon & How.
This next installment in the Hunger Games $3 billion grossing franchise hits theaters on Nov. 17, 2023. Hunger Games series filmmaker Lawrence returns to direct and produce in addition to producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller are EPs.
Michael Lesslie penned the latest draft off Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins and screenwriter Michael Arndt’s previous draft. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are steering the project for Lionsgate.