Viola Davis Will Play a Villain in “Hunger Games” Prequel

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes just landed a massive star for a major role.

The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Viola Davis will be playing Volumnia Gaul, the game maker of the 10th annual Hunger Games and the villain of the film. Davis will bring her considerable acting chops to a growing ensemble that already includes Rachel Zegler, playing tribute Lucy Gray Baird, and Tom Blyth, playing the young Coriolanus Snow, Peter Dinklage, playing Casca Highbottom, Josh Andrés Rivera, playing Sejanus Plinth, Hunter Schafer, playing Tigris Snow, and Jason Schwartzman, playing Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman.

The Hunger Games films have always been elevated by their exceptional casting, and we are thrilled to be continuing that tradition with Viola Davis as Volumnia Gaul,” said Lionsgate motion picture group president Nathan Kahane in a statement. “Her formidable and powerful presence will add layers of complexity and menace to this story.”

The most seasoned Hunger Games director, Francis Lawrence, returns to helm the prequel. Lawrence directed three of the four original films and will also produce alongside franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her collaborator Brad Simpson. “The Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins will executive produce alongside Tim Palen.

“Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable,” said Francis Lawrence in a statement. “Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure.”

Nina Jacobson added: “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.”

Here’s the official synopsis for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:

Return to The Hunger Games, the landmark film franchise that has earned over $3 billion globally, with Lionsgate’s adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ #1 New York Times Bestseller The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) 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 (Rachel Zegler), 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 Gray’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

For more on The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, check this out:

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Featured image: ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 05: Viola Davis attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)


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