Rachel Zegler Confirmed as Female Lead of Hunger Games Prequel

Rachel Zegler has had a whirlwind of an introduction to Hollywood in the last couple of years, with starring roles in West Side Story and as the lead in Disney’s live-action Snow White. Now she has been cast as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the blockbuster Hunger Games movies. Zegler will be joined in the movie by Tom Blyth, who will play the role of Young President Coriolanus Snow in the movie, which is based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins.

The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes was published in 2020 and focuses on 18-year-old Snow and his role in the 10th Hunger Games as a first-time mentor. As he attempts to take his shot at glory, Snow is put together with District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird. According to the author, Lionsgate will be remaining faithful to the story, and with its leads now in place, the production will get underway as the movie heads towards its release date of November 17, 2023.


Zegler teased her casting earlier today, with a tweet that was decoded by fans who quickly worked out that taking the first letters of the words in the tweet and reading them in order spelled out the name of her character, Lucy Gray Baird. It has been rumored that Lionsgate was looking for someone like Zegler for the role in The Hunger Games prequel, but it looks like almost wasn’t good enough and they had to get Zegler herself. Judging by her little bit of Twitter fun about the casting, she is clearly delighted to have landed the part, and it will be another interesting performance for the young star to take on.

Zegler Has Seen Her Career Soar in the Last Few Years

Rachel Zegler has had the kind of meteoric rise to fame that some stars work decades to achieve. Taking on the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story brought the actress to a new audience and clearly put her at the head of many casting lists. Her next big role to be announced was Snow White, the live-action version of Disney’s first animated feature film, which she has recently been seen filming in full costume. All of that on top of her role in Shazam: Fury of the Gods alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and others, and it is hard to recall anyone in recent years having such a list of movies under their belt in quick succession after coming from nowhere.

Her role in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is just another step on an impressive ladder, and if all of the upcoming movies land as well as expected, then there is little doubt that we will be seeing even more of Zegler in lead roles in the coming years. Having already found herself on award nomination lists, the future for the young actress seems to be very bright indeed.