It took a bit for work on the upcoming prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to get going. But now that the balls have started rolling, it doesn’t seem like anything can stop them. On Tuesday came word that five more actors had been tapped to star in the newest chapter of the dystopian saga.
Deadline broke the news on Tuesday that a second round of casting had been completed for The Hunger Games prequel. The actors added are all on the younger side though some of them have a surprising number of credits already on their resumes, including some you’ve almost definitely already seen at work before. The new cast members are Nick Benson, Laurel Marsden, Lilly Cooper, Luna Steeples and Hiroki Berrecloth. You can see all five new cast members below.
Of the five new cast members announced today, Nick Benson has one of the longer resumes, having already appeared in Netflix’s Boo, Bitch and Disney+’s Big Shot along with a number of shorts. Benson will play Jessup, the male tribute from District 12. This is the same district from which Lucy Gray Baird — who will be played Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) — hails. With an equally impressive list of credits, Laurel Marsden will play Mayfair Lipp. It will be her character who submits Baird’s name for inclusion into the deadly Hunger Games. Fans of Marvel’s Disney+ series may recognize Marsden as Zoe — the popular blond girl from Ms. Marvel.
While Lilly Cooper doesn’t have quite as extensive a resume, she did appear on one of the more popular streaming series. Cooper plays the novice Murta from the magical academy of Aretuza in Netflix’s The Witcher. In The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, she will play Arachne Crane who acts as mentor to District 10’s tribute. Luna Steeples previously appeared on the TV series Overdue, and in the dystopian prequel she plays Dill, a tribute from District 11. Meanwhile newcomer Hiroki Berrecloth plays District 7’s tribute, Treech.
It was in May that the first casting news emerged about The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. That’s when we learned it would be Tom Blyth of Billy the Kid fame playing The Hunger Games‘ tyrannical villain Coriolanus Snow instead of Donald Sutherland, who played the older version of the character in the previous four movies. It was only a couple of weeks later that Giant Freakin Robot’s scoop that Rachel Zegler had been tapped to play Lucy Gray Baird was confirmed.
Since then there has been a steady stream of updates about The Hunger Games prequel, including a teaser trailer and the first round of casting announcements. The prequel will be directed by Francis Lawrence, who previously directed all of the franchise films except the very first entry. Michael Arndt — one of the writers on 2013’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — and Michael Lesslie (Assassin’s Creed) will write the script for the prequel, based on the 2020 novel by Suzanne Collins.