Jason Schwartzman is the latest addition to the cast of Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Schwartzman will play Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, the host of the 10th annual Hunger Games and dubbed the “voice of Panem.” Lucretius is the ancestor of Caesar Flickerman, who was played by Stanley Tucci in the original series of films. He joins an ensemble led by Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler, including Josh Andrés Rivera, Hunter Schafer, Jerome Lance, Ashley Liao, Knox Gibson, Mackenzie Lansing, Aamer Husain, Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples, and Hiroki Berrecloth, as previously announced.
Schwartzman is a Gotham, SAG, and WGA Award nominee who will next be seen as the lead in Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” opposite Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, and many others. He most recently wrapped a starring role opposite Awkwafina and Sandra Oh in an untitled 20th Hulu film from director Jessica Yu and will also voice a role in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One),” as recently announced.
The prequel will follow a young Cornelius Snow
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” follows a young Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, years before he would become the tyrannical President of the fictional nation Panem, as he is chosen to be the mentor of the 10th Hunger Games, a televised event in which teenagers are selected via lottery to fight to the death.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is the latest film in a dystopian YA franchise, one based on Suzanne Collins’ novels, that has thus far grossed over $3 billion worldwide. It picks up from the approaching of the 10th annual Hunger Games; Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, played by 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 a snake.
The official release date set so far is November 17, 2023, almost eight years after the last film, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” released in 2015. Truly, this will be the adventure of a lifetime once this film comes out, and it’ll be almost like a reset for the brain.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” see Francis Lawrence return to the franchise as director. Michael Lesslie writes the screenplay from an earlier draft by Michael Arndt. Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller serve as executive producers. Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson serve as producers, with Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien overseeing the project for Lionsgate.