Viola Davis to play the villain in the Hunger Games prequel

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  • Viola Davis has joined the cast of the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
  • The Academy award winner will play the head gamemaker Dr Volumnia Gaul.
  • The film is scheduled to be released in November 2023.

Viola Davis is joining the world of the Hunger Games.

The Academy award winner will play Dr Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker of the 10th annual games in the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

The announcement was made on the official Hunger Games Instagram account: "Meet your Head Gamemaker. Viola Davis has been cast as Dr Volumnia Gaul in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - arriving in theatres November 2023."


Davis wrote on Twitter that she is "glad to be part of this universe".

Director Francis Lawrence said in a statement: "Dr Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable. Snow's savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games' most commanding figure."

Producer Nina Jacobson added that Davis was their dream for Dr Gaul from the beginning "because of the finely layered intelligence and emotion she brings to every role".

"A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul is instrumental in shaping a young Coriolanus Snow into the man he will become. We are incredibly fortunate to have an actor with Viola's extraordinary range and presence to play this pivotal role."

The film will centre on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, years before he became the authoritarian president of Panem. As the 10th Hunger Games approaches, he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler, the tribute for District 12.

On Tuesday, the film shared a first look at Blyth and Zegler in character.

Other cast members include Peter Dinklage, who will play Casa Highbottom, Euphoria star Hunter Schafer will play Tigris Snow, Snow's cousin and confidante, Jason Schwartzman as Lucky Flickerman, and Josh Andrés Rivera as Sejanus Plinth.

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