Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage has officially joined the cast of upcoming The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, where he'll play an intimidating villainous role.


Based on the recent novel by Suzanne Collins, the new film takes place six decades before Katniss Everdeen's war against the oppressors of the Capitol and follows a young Coriolanus Snow, the man destined to become a cold-hearted President.

Relative newcomer Tom Blyth has been cast as Snow, a role previously portrayed by screen legend Donald Sutherland, with Dinklage joining the cast as head of an elite secondary school known as The Academy.

"[The Dean] Casca Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life," said director Francis Lawrence (via Deadline). "As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus’s fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life."

The film will show a different side to Snow, exploring his unlikely partnership during the 10th annual Hunger Games with District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird, who is to be played by West Side Story's Rachel Zegler.

More like this

The synopsis details how, at this point in the timeline, Snow's family have fallen from grace and are in need of a reversal in fortunes to secure their future in the Capitol.

Lucy Gray Baird may hold the key, quickly emerging as a rebellious spirit by singing in protest during the sinister reaping ceremony, which quickly attracts the attention of the media scattered across Panem.

While Dinklage's career dates back to the mid '90s, his popularity soared after his debut as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, which led to more high-profile roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Avengers: Infinity War, I Care a Lot and, most recently, Cyrano.

The original Hunger Games movies had a combined worldwide gross of $3 billion and catapulted Jennifer Lawrence to superstar status virtually overnight – time will tell if lightning can strike twice here.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is scheduled for release in November 2023. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.