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Peter Dinklage joins cast of ‘Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’

Rappler.com
Peter Dinklage joins cast of ‘Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’

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The infamous Lannister from Westeros is about to take the world of Panem by storm

MANILA, Philippines – From Westeros to Panem! Emmy-winning Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is joining the star-studded cast of the much-awaited The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes prequel film, set for a November 17 release.

Lionsgate confirmed that Dinklage will play Casca Highbottom, the dean of the academy credited for the creation of the deathly games. The studio hailed him as “one of the best actors alive” and said that the fan favorite will bring a “formidable, charismatic authority” to the important role.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, based on the 2020 novel by Suzanne Collins, is set 64 years before the events of the The Hunger Games unfolded. Here, the infamous villain from the Capitol, President Coriolanus Snow, is still an ambitious 18-year-old boy from a fallen clan.

In the wake of the 10th annual Hunger Games, he is forced to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, a defiant tribute from District 12. When the latter sings at the reaping ceremony, grabbing the attention of everyone in Panem, Snow plans to exploit this to secure honor for his lineage and success for the girl. A battle of strength and schemes, songbirds and snakes, shakes Panem once more.

Dinklage will be acting opposite Tom Blyth, who plays the young Snow, and Rachel Zegler, who plays the girl from District 12. Hunter Schafer will also reprise the role of Tigris Snow, who first appeared in Mockingjay Part 2. Other cast members include Athena Strates, Cooper Dillion, Dakota Shapiro, Dmitri Abold, George Somner, Irene Boehm, and Vaughan Reilly.

Catching Fire and Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence is heading the project once more with franchise producer Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. Suzanne Collins, the writer of the books, will also be joining Tim Palen and Jim Miller as executive producers.

The movie adaptation was announced to the public on April 28 during CinemaCon. Its first official  teaser was dropped on June 5. 

“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’ fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life,” Lawrence remarked.

“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,” said Jacobson.

The original Hunger Games franchise, made up of The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), and Mockingjay (2010), have grossed over a total of $3 billion globally. The cast featured Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, and more.

Dinklage is best known for his role as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones (2011). He won four primetime Emmy awards as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama series for the role. He was also the lead in musical drama Cyrano (2021). – with reports from Bea Bertuldo/Rappler.com

Bea Bertuldo is a Rappler intern.

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