The upcoming “Hunger Games” prequel movie “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” may not feature Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, but it does feature her longtime franchise director Francis Lawrence behind the camera. Francis Lawrences directed every “Hunger Games” sequel and is back for the Lionsgate prequel, which features “West Side Story” breakout Rachel Zegler in the lead role of Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12 who is mentored by a young Snow (Tom Blyth) for the 10th annual Hunger Games.
“Katniss was an introvert and a survivor,” Lawrence told Empire magazine about the big difference between Katniss and Lucy. “She was quite quiet and stoic, you could almost say [she was] asexual. Lucy Gray is the opposite. She wears her sexuality on her sleeve. She really is a performer.”
“She loves crowds,” Lawrence added of Lucy. “She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people.”
Zegler and Blyth are joined in “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” by Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman and Viola Davis. The movie is based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, author of the original “Hunger Games” book trilogy. The novels inspired four Jennifer Lawrence-starring films that grossed a collective $2.9 billion.
“The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” is set more than 60 years before “The Hunger Games,” meaning there was never a chance that Jennifer Lawrence would reprise her star-making role of Katniss. The Oscar winner told Variety this summer that she would be open to playing Katniss again.
“Oh, my God – totally!” Jennifer Lawrence said when asked about more Katniss. “If Katniss ever could ever come back into my life, 100 percent.”
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” opens in theaters Nov. 17 from Lionsgate.