Jason Schwartzman (Asteroid City) is the latest addition to the cast of Lionsgate’s Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. He joins an ensemble led by Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler which also includes Josh Andrés Rivera, Hunter Schafer, Jerome Lance, Ashley Liao, Knox Gibson, Mackenzie Lansing, Aamer Husain, Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples and Hiroki Berrecloth, as previously announced.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the latest film in a dystopian YA franchise, based on Suzanne Collins’ novels, that has thus far grossed over $3 billion worldwide. It picks up with Coriolanus Snow (Blyth) at age 18—years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem—at a point when he’s 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 (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’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.
Schwartzman will play Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, the host of the 10th Hunger Games and ancestor to Caesar Flickerman, who would become the voice of Panem.
Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Game: Catching Fire) is returning as director, with Michael Lesslie (Macbeth) having penned the most recent draft of the screenplay—building on the work of Collins and Oscar winner Michael Arndt (Catching Fire). The film is being shepherded by franchise producer Nina Jacobson and her producing partner Brad Simpson, along with Francis Lawrence, with Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller serving as executive producers. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing the pic on behalf of Lionsgate, which will release it in theaters worldwide on November 17, 2023.
Schwartzman is a Gotham, SAG and WGA Award nominee who will next be seen as the lead in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, opposite Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie and many others. He most recently wrapped a starring role opposite Awkwafina and Sandra Oh in an untitled 20th/Hulu film from director Jessica Yu, and will also voice a role in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One), as recently announced.
Schwartzman is represented by UTA, Ocean Avenue Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.