“So much joy,” Zelger tweeted. “I love movies. I cannot believe I get to make them. I am so thankful that this is my life. Thanks for being on this ride with me. See ya later.” Included in Zegler’s message were a few emojis – three hearts, a dove, and a snake.
Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to The Hunger Games franchise, which features four movies – 2012’s The Hunger Games, 2013’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 2014’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
In the upcoming film, Zegler will play Lucy Gray Baird, the lead female role, alongside actor Tom Blyth (The Gilded Age), who will play a young Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland’s character in the four prior movies). Lucy is a tribute from District 12, who an 18-year-old Coriolanus is assigned to mentor. Songbirds and Snakes is adapted from the 2020 book by Suzanne Collins, the author of the original series.
A day before the official announcement on Tuesday (May 31), Zegler posted an encrypted message on social media revealing the character she would play.
“When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills – she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray,” said Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate.
Currently, Zegler is shooting Disney’s live-action Snow White movie. She will be seen later this year in the superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is scheduled for release on November 17, 2023.