The Hunger Games Prequel Has Brought In A Stellar Game Of Thrones Star

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Seven years ago, the main Hunger Games film series closed out with Mockingjay — Part 2, but in late 2023, moviegoers will have the opportunity to return to Panem, albeit in the past rather than following the events of the first four movies. The film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has been putting together its cast over the last few months, and today brings word that Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage has been added to the lineup.

Peter Dinklage will star in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as Casca Highbottom, dean of the Academy, the most prestigious school in Panem’s Capitol. Director Francis Lawrence, who previously helmed the latter three Hunger Games movies, said the following in an official statement about Dinklage’s involvement in the prequel:

Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life. 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.

Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, also said that Peter Dinklage will “bring a formidable, charismatic authority to the important role” of Casca Highbottom. No spoilers here for those who haven’t read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and want to go into the movie as freshly as possible, but Highbottom’s role is indeed important, not just to this story, but the deeper Hunger Games mythology. So while we obviously don’t know exactly how much screen time Dinklage will have in this upcoming movie, don’t count on it being a cameo.

As already indicated, Peter Dinklage is well known for playing Tyrion Lannister throughout the entirety of Game of Thrones’ run, and his other genre work include playing Trumpkin in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Eitri in Avengers: Infinity War. Along with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Dinklage’s other upcoming projects include leading the Toxic Avenger reboot. Dinklage was most recently seen on the big screen in Cyrano co-starring alongside Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Ben Mendelsohn.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem who was played by Donald Sutherland in the Hunger Games movies, as an 18-year old who’s been tasked with mentoring Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from District 12, for the 10th annual Hunger Games. Billy the Kid star Tom Blyth will play Snow in the movie, and West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler has been cast as Lucy. In addition to these two and Peter Dinklage, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ cast includes Hunter Schafer as Tigris and Jason Schwartzman as Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman, among many others.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which opens in theaters on November 17, 2023. Look through our 2023 release schedule to see what other movies coming out next year catch your eye.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.