A different type of District 12 heroine will soon enter the arena in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Original franchise director Francis Lawrence is set to return to the games come Nov. 17, and the filmmaker is currently previewing Lucy Gray Baird's fight ahead, noting that the tribute played by Rachel Zegler is the polar opposite of Jennifer Lawrence's (no relation to the director) heroine Katniss Everdeen. Lucy Gray Baird, Lawrence said, is the "anti-Katniss."
"Katniss was an introvert and a survivor," the director said in the latest issue of Empire. "She was quite quiet and stoic, you could almost say [she was] asexual. Lucy Gray is the opposite. She wears her sexuality on her sleeve, [and] she really is a performer."
Lionsgate Movies/YouTube Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray in 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'
Whereas Katniss was a reluctant face of the rebellion, songstress Lucy Gray relishes the spotlight and uses it to her own advantage. "She loves crowds," Lawrence added. "She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people."
Murray Close/Lionsgate Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in 'The Hunger Games'
The upcoming prequel follows an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) in the years before he becomes the tyrannical president of Panem played by Donald Sutherland in the original franchise. An Academy pupil, Snow is tasked with mentoring District 12 tribute Lucy Gray for the 10th annual Hunger Games, overseen by the sinister head gamemaker Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) and domineering Academy dean Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage). Hunter Schafer and Jason Schwartzman also star, portraying Snow's cousin and confidant Tigris and Hunger Games host Lucretius "Lucky" Flickerman, respectively.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives in theaters Nov. 17. Watch the trailer embedded above.