‘Hunger Games’ Prequel: Tom Blyth to Play Younger President Snow

“Billy the Kid” star will lead the cast of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

Tom Blyth Donald Sutherland Pres. Snow from Hunger Games
Getty Images/Lionsgate

Lionsgate has cast Tom Blyth to star in the upcoming prequel “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” as an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, decades before he became the deadly adversary of Katniss Everdeen.

Blyth currently stars on the Epix series “Billy the Kid,” and now will be the face of a film that Lionsgate hopes will revive its most lucrative franchise with four films that combined grossed nearly $3 billion at the global box office. Donald Sutherland starred in those four films as Snow, who leads a dystopian nation where 12 vassal districts are required each year to sacrifice two of their children for a televised fight to the death as punishment for a failed rebellion.

Based on Suzanne Collins’ 2020 novel of the same name, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” takes place 64 years before the events of the “Hunger Games” and chronicles the start of Snow’s rise to power, starting as a mentor to Lucy Gray, a teen girl from District 12 chosen to compete in the Hunger Games.

“Coriolanus Snow is many things – a survivor, a loyal friend, a cutthroat, a kid quick to fall in love, and a young man ambitious to his core,” director Francis Lawrence said. “Tom’s take on the character showed us all the complex ambiguities of this young man as he transforms into the tyrant he would become.”

“Tom’s performance will both fulfill and disrupt everything you think you know about Coriolanus Snow. He’s a tremendous talent who will show why Snow always lands on top,” producer Nina Jacobson said.

At CinemaCon, Lionsgate announced that “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” would be released Nov. 17, 2023. Lawrence returns to the series having directed the sequels “Catching Fire” and both parts of “Mockingjay,” with Michael Arndt adapting the screenplay and Collins producing with Jacobson.

Blyth is repped by Gersh, MJ Management and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. The casting was first reported by People Magazine.