Lionsgate has confirmed the four-time Emmy award winner will play Casca Highbottom, the dean of the Academy, and will be opposite Tom Blyth as a young Coriolanus Snow and West Side Story‘s Rachel Zegler as tribute Lucy Gray Baird.
Set years before becoming the tyrannical President of Panem, Lionsgate says an “18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope of his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capital.
“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.”
Talking about Dinklage’s role, director Francis Lawrence said: “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.”
Producer Nina Jacobson added: “I cannot think of an actor more perfectly suited to inhabit the role of Highbottom. As the man credited with conceiving the Hunger Games and the Dean of the Academy, Casca Highbottom is a character with secrets. Peter’s magnetism, intensity and dark humor will infuse him with the intelligence, depth and pathos that the role demands.”
Lawrence is returning to helm the project after directing three of the franchise’s movies – catching fire, Mocking Jay Part 1 and Mocking Jay Part 2. The recent screenplay is by macbeth‘s Michael Lesslie from a draft from franchise author Suzanne Collins and Michael Arndt (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be in cinemas on November 17, 2023.