Viola Davis has joined Lionsgate’s Hunger game prequel Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Davis will play Dr. Volumnia Gaul, who runs the 10th annual Hunger Games main game. She joins Tom Blyth, who will play young Coriolanus Snow, and Rachel Zegler, who plays Lucy Gray Baird. from the poor District 12. Other stars announced include Josh Andrés Rivera, Peter Dinklage and Hunter Schafer.
The prequel synopsis reads: “Years before he became the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow was the last hope for his dying line, a self-made family. a once-disgraced gallantry in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, young Snow is alarmed when she is assigned to her mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl from District 12. However, after Lucy Gray orders them all out. To get Panem’s attention by singing defiantly during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he can turn the odds in their favor. Fusing performance instincts and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time for survival will ultimately reveal who is the songbird and the snake. ”
Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger game film, has returned to helm and will also produce alongside franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson. Hunger game Authors Suzanne Collins and Tim Palen will executive produce. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien will oversee the studio on behalf of the studio.
“The Hunger game films are always elevated by their exceptional cast, and we’re excited to continue that tradition with Viola Davis as Volumnia Gaul. Her powerful and formidable presence adds layers of complexity and menace to this story,” said Lionsgate Film Group president Nathan Kahane.
“Dr. Gaul is as ruthless as she is creative and terrifying as she is formidable. Snow’s understanding as a political executive evolved in no small part due to his experience with her as the game’s most commanding character,” said Lawrence. Jacobson adds, “From the very beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the intelligence and emotional sophistication she brings to every role. A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul is credited with shaping the young Coriolanus Snow into the person he would become. We are extremely fortunate to have an actor with Viola’s extraordinary stature and presence to play this important role.”
Oscar-winning Davis, Emmy and Tony will be next to be seen in Queen, which she has also produced through her JuVee Productions. The film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before being released in theaters by Sony. Other upcoming on-screen roles include Black Adamperformed her role as DC character Amanda Waller, and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Nike Air Jordan project at Amazon.
Davis is represented by the CAA, Lasher Group and Lichter Grossman.