Panem has gained a new citizen. Jason Schwartzman has joined the upcoming prequel film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Schwartzman will play Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, the host of the 10th annual Hunger Games and dubbed the “voice of Panem.” Lucretius is the ancestor of Caesar Flickerman, who was played by Stanley Tucci in the original series of films. Schwartzman joins a stacked cast for the film, including Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andres Rivera, Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples, Hiroki Berrecloth, Jerome Lance, Ashley Liao, Knox Gibson, Mackenzie Lansing, and Aamer Husain.
Schwartzman is well-known for starring in a number of films from director Wes Anderson, including The French Dispatch, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and the upcoming Asteroid City, among others. Most recently he held a recurring role in HBO Max‘s The Righteous Gemstones and FX‘s Fargo. His latest feature film role includes There There and a currently untitled Hulu original. He also lends his voice to the upcoming Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One).
Based on the Suzanne Collins novel of the same name, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Blyth), approximately 64 years prior to The Hunger Games. As his family struggles to uphold their name, Coriolanus prepares to become a mentor for the 10th annual games. When he is paired with District 12’s female tribute, Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), Snow becomes embarrassed and dejected. However, Lucy Gray has a few tricks up her sleeve and captures the attention of Panem.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes sees Francis Lawrence return to the franchise as director. The screenplay is written by Michael Lesslie from an earlier draft by Michael Arndt. Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller serve as executive producers. Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson serve as producers, with Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
The full synopsis from Lionsgate reads:
“Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (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 (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.”
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will release in theaters on November 17, 2023.