Rachel Zegler starred as Lucy Gray Baird in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”
The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel is set to hit cinemas worldwide in November 2023 and is a prequel to four films starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.
Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the previous “Hunger Games” films, returns behind the camera with producer Nina Jacobson and her partner Brad Simpson also returning for the dystopian sci-fi flick.
Zegler was cast as Lucy Gray – the impoverished female District 12 tribute.
Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement: “When you read Suzanne’s book, the emotional intelligence, physical agility and fiercely powerful and determined singing voice of Lucy Gray. Rachel embodies all these skills – she is the perfect fit for our Lucy Gray.”
Rachel, 21, played Maria in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of ‘West Side Story’ and has also been tapped to star in the new live-action version of ‘Snow White’.
Jacobson had previously suggested that Lucy Gray was very different from Katniss compared to the original films.
She said: “Lucy is a character that is much more aware of the power of her femininity.
“Katniss is much quieter, a woman who doesn’t talk much. (So) Lucy as a performer is a very different type of character. Katniss is very survival-oriented. She hunts for her family, she goes into games because let her promise her sister that she will come back.
“Katniss knows exactly how she feels and appreciates and Lucy is more mysterious and plays her own way with the crowd. Lucy is a fun and very different character to bring to the screen.”