Peter Dinklage Cast in 'Important Role' for 'Hunger Games' Prequel 'The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'

The Game of Thrones star will be joining the already announced cast of Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler and Hunter Schafer

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 11: Actor Peter Dinklage attends the screening of "American Dreamer" during the 2022 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on June 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Peter Dinklage has been cast in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel.

The Game of Thrones actor will star as Casca Highbottom in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, The Hunger Games official Instagram account announced Monday.

"With production underway, we couldn't be more excited about the way this cast has come together and thrilled to be welcoming Peter Dinklage to Panem," president of Lionsgate's Motion Picture Group, Nathan Kahane, said in a statement per Deadline and Variety. "Peter is not just a fan favorite actor who brings a commanding presence to every part he plays. He is one of the best actors alive. He will bring a formidable, charismatic authority to the important role of the dean of the Academy."

Francis Lawrence — who directed the franchise's Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part One, and Mockingjay Part Two and will also direct the upcoming film — said that Dinklage's character is one of "the most powerful people in Snow's life," referencing Coriolanus Snow, president of Panam, according to both outlets.

"As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus's fate. I'm thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life," Lawrence continued.

Based on Suzanne Collins' 2019 novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the upcoming film will follow a young President Snow (played in the original films by Donald Sutherland) before he became president of Panem.

The book serves as a prequel to the Hunger Games series as it follows Snow before he became the powerful president in the original trilogy. It takes place during the 10th Hunger Games, during which Snow serves as a mentor to a tribute named Lucy Gray Baird for District 12.

Throughout the story, we get a closer look at how the Hunger Games transformed over the years and how Snow eventually became the villainous politician who torments Katniss Everdeen.

Dinklage joins a list of already announced cast members which includes West Side Story star Rachel Zegler who will star as Lucy Gray Baird, the tribute from District 12 who Snow mentors and her West Side Story costar and real-life boyfriend Josh Andrés Rivera who will star as Sejanus Plinth, a Hunger Games mentor who befriends a young Snow.

In May, PEOPLE exclusively revealed that Tom Blyth (from Epix's new Western adventure series Billy the Kid) will play young President Snow.

Hunter Schafer will also star in the flick as President Snow's cousin, Tigris Snow.

On June 27, The Hunger Games Instagram account also announced that Jason Schwartzman would be joining the cast as Lucky Flickerman.

Per an official press release from Lionsgate, additional cast members for the film include: Jerome Lance as Marcus, a tribute from District 2; Ashley Liao as Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus's closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11; Knox Gibson as Bobbin, a tribute from District 8; Mackenzie Lansing as Coral, a tribute from District 4; Aamer Husain as Felix Ravinstill, a mentor to a tribute from District 11; Nick Benson as Jessup, a tribute from District 12; Laurel Marsden as Mayfair Lipp, a girl from District 12; Lilly Cooper as Arachne Crane, a mentor to a tribute from District 10; Luna Steeples as Dill, a tribute from District 11; and Hiroki Berrecloth as Treech, a tribute from District 7.

During the 2022 CinemaCon, Lionsgate announced that the film would be released in theaters on Nov. 17, 2023. The studio also shared a short teaser that featured icy tree branches with the text, "The world will discover… who is a songbird… and who is a snake."

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