EXCLUSIVE: The Francis Lawrence directed feature adaptation of the highly anticipated Suzanne Collins prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has added eleven actors in its final casting round.
This includes Tony Award nominee Fionnula Flanagan who’ll play Grandma’am, young Coriolanus Snow’s (Tom Blyth) strict grandmother. Years before he would become the tyrannical 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 (Rachel 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.
Among the other new actors and actresses who are joining opposite a cast that includes Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage:
Isobel Jesper Jones is Mayfair Lipp, the daughter of the mayor of District 12. She’ll soon be seen starring as Jessica, one of the leading roles in the upcoming Netflix series The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself from The Imaginarium, with director Colm McCarthy. She is represented by Gabriella Capisani at United Agents.
Flora Li Thiemann is Livia Carden, mentor to a tribute from District 1. She also played a leading role in the coming-of-age drama tigermilk (2017) and joined the international cast of Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgård in the postwar drama The Aftermath in a supporting role. She will next be seen in Amazon’s series The Gryphon. She is represented by Rietz & Casting Agency.
Those who are part of the Convey, a group of nomads in District 12 include:
Honor Gillieswho is making her professional acting debut in Songbirds and Snakes, the Barb Azure. She is repped by Marvin Godfrey at Revolution Talent Ltd.
Eike Onyambu as Tam Amber. Previous credits include the role of Romeo in the world premiere of the 2022 musical Romeo and Juliet and the role of Henri in the operetta Der Openball which both received critical acclaim.
Konstantin Taffet who plays Clerk Carmine. Taffet is also making his feature film debut and a renowned violinist who took first place several times in the German violin competition “Jugend Musiziert.” He also completed many violin solo performances in Potsdam, Berlin. Since 2015, he has been a member of several orchestras in Potsdam.
Those portraying Peacekeepers sent by the Capitol to District 12 are:
Burn Gorman the Commander Hoffs. Hoff has starred in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, The Offer, Enola Holmes, as well as several collaborations with Rupert Wyatt, Cameron Mackintosh, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Vaughn, John Ridley, and Rupert Goold. On TV, he’s been seen in AMC’s turn, BBC American’s Spies of Warsaw, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and HBO’s Game of Thrones. Other films are Watcher, Pacific Rim: Uprising, In the Valley of Violence with Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. Gorman is represented by Gersh, Hamilton Hodell and Management 360.
Scott Folan the Beanpole. Credits include Comedy Central sitcom brotherhood and the feature film Nativity 2. The singer-songwriter’s music is available to stream on all major music platforms. He is represented by Denton Brierley and Unbreakable Entertainment.
Carl Spencer is Smiley. He’ll soon be seen as Magnus in Matilda (Netflix/Working Title Films). He previously appeared as Richard in Paramount’s Rocketman and in leading roles on stage, including the role of John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in “Hamilton” (Victoria Palace for Cameron Mackintosh). He is represented by The BWH Agency.
Rounding out the cast are Michael Greco and Daniela Grubert the Strabo Plinth and Mrs. Plinth, wealthy parents to Sejanus Plinth, Coriolanus’s best friend.
Greco’s most recent credits include african queens, directed by Jada Pinkett-Smith. He also played Bill Staton in the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Hatfields & McCoys. Other feature film credits include Misfire, Revengeand gone. Greco’s most notable British TV credits include Eastenders, Doctors, and Murder in Mindall for BBC, as well as ITV’s Chasing Shadows. Greco is represented by Mark Jermin Management.
German actress Grubert studied theater at UdK Berlin and performed in such musicals as Hair, Little Shop of Horrors and Prevents and played the title role in Aida.
Flanagan received a Tony Award nominee for her performance in The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes on Broadway. She also appeared on stage in The Tempest, Heartbreak House, The Taming of the Shrew, The Playboy of the Western World among others. She originated the role of Maggie in Brian Friel’s lovers at Dublin’s Gate Theatre. Her featured credits include The Guardwritten and directed by John McDonagh; A Christmas Caroldirected by Robert Zemeckis; The Invention of Lyingdirected by Ricky Gervais; Yes Mandirected by Peyton Reed; The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhooddirected by Callie Khouri; Tears of the Sun, directed by Antoine Fuqua; Michael Winterbottom’s With or Without You; The Others, directed by Alejandro Amenábar. On TV she has appeared on Lost, Brotherhood, Murder She Wrote, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as How the West Was Won (Emmy nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress), and Rich Man, Poor Man (Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series). She is represented by Lisa Richards Agency.
Songbirds and Snakes come out on Nov. 17, 2023, and will add to the Hunger Games franchise which has earned over $3 billion. Lawrence previously helmed the franchise’s Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part Oneand Mockingjay Part Two. Series producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are producing with Lawrence. Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller are EPs. Most recent screenplay is by Michael Lesslie who builds on the work of author Collins and Michael Arndt. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing on behalf of the studio.