Lionsgate has cast Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom, Dean of the Academy, in the upcoming prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel will hit theaters worldwide on November 17, 2023. Lionsgate’s Four Movie hunger games franchise had made more than $3 billion worldwide when it closed in 2014, and it’s now looking to extend its lifespan with the adaptation of Collins’ latest entry in the dystopian series.
Dinklage stars in the film opposite Tom Blyth, who will play the young Coriolanus Snow, and Rachel Zegler, in tribute to Lucy Gray Baird. Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four hunger games movies – Catching Fire, Mockingjay: Part One and Mockingjay: part two — is back at the helm with franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson returning as producers.
Lawrence also produces. Collins, Tim Palen and Jim Miller executive produce. Michael Lesslie wrote the final draft of the screenplay.
The logline of the Lionsgate prequel reads: “Years before he would become the tyrannical president of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading parentage, a once-proud family fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute of impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray takes all of Panem’s attention by singing defiantly at the harvest ceremony, Snow thinks that he can turn the odds in their favor. Combining their instincts for showmanship and newfound political knowledge, Snow and Lucy’s race against time for survival will eventually reveal who is a songbird and a snake.”
“Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life. As the stern and vengeful face of the games, he sets the rules that will govern every aspect of Coriolanus’ fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will bring him to life,” director Lawrence said in a statement.
Dinklage most recently starred as Cyrano for director Joe Wright. His upcoming work includes: brothers, opposite Josh Brolin and Brendan Fraser, and she came to meopposite Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei for writer-director Rebecca Miller.
He is represented by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.