‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Casting News Roundup

After casting their two leads, Lionsgate has been quietly putting together their cast for the upcoming prequel to The Hunger Games. In case you missed it, several new names have been added to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. From district competitors to the flashy new host, we’re starting to learn more about the story.

Here’s a look at who has been added in the last few weeks:

  • JEROME LANCE is in his final year at Royal Welsh, and in the current cohort of Open Door.  He recently performed his own writing at their Donmar Showcase. He is represented by The Artists Partnership.
  • ASHLEY LIAO recently shot the lead role in the ACE Entertainment feature Loveboat Taipei, which is based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name. Liao played the teenage version of Ali Wong in the Netflix romantic comedy “Always Be My Maybe,” and starred as Princess Eleanor in the Disney+ original movie “Secret Society of Second Born Royals.” She also had a leading role in the Debby Ryan-produced film “Jessica Darling’s It List.” She had a series regular role in the Apple TV+ series “Physical” opposite Rose Byrne. Best known for her role as Lola in the Netflix series “Fuller House,” Liao has also guest starred on numerous series including “N.C.I.S.,” “N.C.I.S.: Los Angeles,” “Speechless,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” and “Bad Teacher.” She is represented by Innovative Artists, Semler Entertainment, and Skrzyniarz & Mallean.
  • KNOX GIBSON is a confident, energetic 14-year-old boy from Australia, who is also an amputee due to an accident with a lawn mower when he was 3 years old. Knox has been working in the entertainment industry for the past six years; modelling, filming commercials, televisions shows, music videos and short films. He had a breakout role starring as the lead in the Netflix short film “Forgive Us Our Trespasses,” released in February 2022. Additionally, Knox is a national athlete for swimming and is a disability and inclusion advocate. He believes that positive representation of people with disabilities onscreen is incredibly important as it leads to more acceptance in society and it challenges negative stereotypes and preconceived ideas. He is represented by C Talent.
  • MACKENZIE LANSING is a French/American actress best known for her work on HBO’s “The Deuce” and “Mare of Easttown.” She will next be seen in Allswell, set to premiere at Tribeca, and recently filmed a role for Gareth Edwards’ True Love with John David Washington. Lansing spent her childhood in Congo and France, beginning her acting career on the Paris stage. She moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She rounded out her conservatory education by attending The Labyrinth Summer Intensive and Maggie Flanigan Studio. Her transition into film and television began with guest spots on “Red Oaks” and “Tell Me a Story.” She is repped by Clear Talent Group and MJ Management.
  • AAMER HUSAIN appeared on “Hudson & Rex.” He is an Indian American/Canadian actor who speaks English, Urdu, and Arabic fluently.  He is represented by The Characters Agency & David Dean Management.
  • JOSH ANDRÉS RIVERA recently starred as “Chino” in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated adaption of West Side Story, opposite Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Ariana Debose. Rivera will next appear in Susanna Fogel’s highly anticipated 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.
  • NICK BENSON (Jessup) graduated from the University of Southern California with a BFA in Acting for Screen, Stage, and New Media in 2021. Since graduation he has filmed recurring roles in Netflix’s “Boo, Bitch” and Disney+’s “Big Shot.” He is represented by SMS Talent and Untitled Entertainment.
  • LAUREL MARSDEN (Mayfair Lipp) can currently be seen playing Zoe Zimmer in Disney+’s Marvel series “Ms. Marvel.” The Zimmer character made her debut in 2014’s Ms. Marvel No. 3. She recently completed production on All Fun and Gamesopposite Asa Butterfield and Natalia Dyer. Marsden previously starred alongside Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins in Quibi’s “Survive.” She is represented by Encompass and Zero Gravity Management.
  • LILLY COOPER (Arachne Crane) is an English actress. She trained at Identity School of Acting in London. Credits include the role of Murta in “The Witcher” series 1 and 2. 23 years old, she is represented by the Identity Agency Group.
  • LUNA STEEPLES (Dill) is an outstanding young performer with a spunky, outgoing, and fearless personality and maturity beyond her years. Her mother, Paola Menacho, is from Bolivia, and her father, Eddie Steeples, is from St. Louis, Missouri. Luna grew up speaking both English and Spanish and celebrating her family’s diversity. Luna’s family is philanthropic and supports St. Jude Children’s Hospital and The Alexandria House for Women and Children, which helps create spaces, jobs, and friendships where all people can thrive. She is represented by Jackson Entertainment Management (JEM) and Skrzyniarz & Mallean.
  • HIROKI BERRECLOTH (Treech) has appeared in the BBC’s “Red Rose” and the short films Black Lichen, The Intruder, and Why Do You Look at Me with Those Eyes?.  He is currently acting whilst also studying a Science degree in University. He is passionate about the representation of South East Asians in media and film, and a goal of his is to one day establish a platform or production company that will help the development of SEA artists and promote SEA narratives. For now though, he’s a regular student who relaxes by reading manga and going skating with mates. He is represented by Simon & How.
  • Jason Schwartzman is playing the role of Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, the host of the 10th Hunger Games and ancestor to Caesar Flickerman, who would become the voice of Panem.

To clear things up a bit Benson will play Jessup, tribute from District 12 alongside Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird; Marsden will play Mayfair Lipp, who places Lucy Gray’s name into contention for the tenth Hunger Games; Cooper will play Arachne Crane, mentor to a tribute from District 10; Steeples will play Dill, tribute from District 11; and Berrecloth will play Treech, tribute from District 7. More details will be revealed in the coming months.

Filming has not quite started yet, so I think we’re pretty far away from getting any first look images. That means plenty of updates will be coming leading up to the November 17, 2023 release date.

Photo Credit: Lionsgate