Viola Davis is set to play a warped villain in Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”
On Monday, the film’s official Twitter account confirmed the Oscar winner will star as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, Head Gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games.
In the upcoming film — based on Suzanne Collins’ 2020 novel — Lucy Gray Baird, the female tribute from District 12, will face off in a televised, bloody battle royal against fellow kids.
Fans of the franchise will recall Jennifer Lawrence’s character Katniss Everdeen was District 12’s tribute in the 74th and 75th games.
The dystopian action-adventure also stars previously announced cast members Rachel Zegler (“West Side Story”) as Lucy Gray Baird, Tom Blyth (“Billy the Kid”) as a young Coriolanus Snow, Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Jason Schwartzman (“Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”) and Hunter Schafer (“Euphoria”).
“Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable. Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure,” director Francis Lawrence, who worked on the latter three of the four movies in the franchise, told The Hollywood Reporter.
An official synopsis for the film reads, “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow 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, 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.”
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will premiere in theaters on Nov. 17, 2023.
Watch the trailer below.