News Movies News | Written by Laura Potier 16/08/2022

Viola Davis Joins HUNGER GAMES Prequel As Villain

Ah, the battle we never knew we needed: Amanda Waller vs Coriolanus Snow... or close enough, as Viola Davis has joined Lionsgate's Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as the head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games.

THR reveals Viola Davis will portray Dr. Volumnia Gaul; the Oscar-, Emmy-, and Tony-winning actress joins existing cast members Tom Blyth as the young Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird. Also on board the project are Josh Andres Rivera, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer.

The official logline reads: “Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, 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 favour. 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.”

Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Jennifer Lawrence-starring Hunger Games movies, is back to direct and produce the prequel. “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,” said Lawrence. Franchise producer Nina Jacobson adds, “From the beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul 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.”

Davis will next be seen in the historical action epic The Woman King, and in Black Adam, reprising her role as the aforementioned Amanda Waller.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes releases in cinemas on November 17th, 2023.