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Lionsgate has cast Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, dean of the Academy, in the upcoming prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel will debut in theaters worldwide on Nov. 17, 2023. Lionsgate’s four-film Hunger Games franchise had earned over $3 billion globally when it wrapped up in 2014, and it is now looking to extend the lifespan with the adaptation of Collins’ latest entry in the dystopian series.
Dinklage will star in the film opposite Tom Blyth, who will play the young Coriolanus Snow, and Rachel Zegler, as tribute Lucy Gray Baird. Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games movies — Catching Fire, Mockingjay: Part One and Mockingjay: Part Two — is back in the helmer’s seat with franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson back as producers.
Lawrence is also producing. Collins, Tim Palen and Jim Miller executive produce. Michael Lesslie wrote the latest draft of the screenplay.
The prequel’s logline from Lionsgate 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 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.”
“Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life. As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus’s fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life,” director Lawrence added in a statement.
Dinklage most recently starred as Cyrano for director Joe Wright. His upcoming work includes Brothers, opposite Josh Brolin and Brendan Fraser, and She Came to Me, opposite Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei for writer-director Rebecca Miller.
He is represented by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.
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