The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has finally found its young President Coriolanus Snow. On Monday, Lionsgate announced that Tom Blyth has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming The Hunger Games prequel film, which is based on Suzanne Collins' 2020 novel of the same name and is poised to debut in theaters in November of 2023. Snow was previously portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the original Hunger Games films. Blyth currently stars as the titular character on the EPIX series Billy the Kid, and previously appeared in HBO's The Gilded Age. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be directed by franchise alum Francis Lawrence, with a new draft of the script from Macbeth's Michael Lesslie, after it was previously penned by Collins and Catching Fire alum Michael Arndt.
"Tom Blyth is an explosive rising talent whose mesmerizing and charismatic presence makes him an exciting actor and perfect for this leading role," Erin Westerman, president of Production for Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.
"Coriolanus Snow is many things – a survivor, a loyal friend, a cutthroat, a kid quick to fall in love, and a young man ambitious to his core," Lawrence echoed. "Tom's take on the character showed us all the complex ambiguities of this young man as he transforms into the tyrant he would become."
"Tom's performance will both fulfill and disrupt everything you think you know about Coriolanus Snow. He's a tremendous talent who will show why Snow always lands on top," producer Nina Jacobson added.
In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, 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 who is a snake. Jacobson will executive produce alongside her producing partner Brad Simpson, as well as Lawrence, Collins, and Tim Palen.
What do you think of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes casting its lead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!