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Josh Andrés Rivera will be returning to work with his West Side Story star Rachel Zegler in Lionsgate’s growing ensemble prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The prequel centers around 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who as we know will become the tyrannical President of Panem. He 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.
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Rivera will play Sejanus Plinth, a close friend of young Coriolanus Snow, and the mentor to a tribute from District 2.
As Deadline first told you, other castmembers include Jerome Lance who will play Marcus, the tribute from District 2. Ashley Liao will play Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus’s closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11. Knox Gibson will play Bobbin, tribute from District 8; Mackenzie Lansing will play Coral, tribute from District 4; while Aamer Husain will play Felix Ravinstill, the mentor to a tribute from District 11.
Francis Lawrence is returning to the franchise to direct for a theatrical worldwide release on Nov. 17, 2023. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also returning to produce for the franchise with Lawrence. Author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller are EPs. Michael Lesslie wrote the latest draft off Collins and Michael Arndt’s previous script based on the author’s bestselling novel.
Rivera played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning adaption of West Side Story. Rivera will next appear in Susanna Fogel’s adaptation of Cat Person, based on Kristen Roupenian’s buzzy short story published in The New Yorker. He shares the screen with Nicholas Braun, Emilia Jones and Geraldine Viswanathan. Rivera was a series lead in the HBO Max pilot Vegas High, directed by Gillian Robespierre and produced by Michael Showalter. He performed in the original company on the first national tour of the Tony-winning musical Hamilton.
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