Rachel Zegler to Star in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s (hunger) game on for Rachel Zegler

The 21-year-old half-Colombian American Golden Globe-winning actress/singer and West Side Story star has joined the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the highly anticipated prequel to Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games

Rachel Zegler,Zegler is joining the Francis Lawrence-directed film in the lead female role of Lucy Gray Baird.

She joins recently announced Tom Blyth, who’s playing the young Coriolanus Snow, that role made famous by Donald Sutherland in the original trilogy.

Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

“When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills – she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray,” said Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“Like everybody, I first saw Rachel Zegler in West Side Story, and like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation,” said Lawrence. “Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”

“Lucy Gray is an incredibly complex character, a performer who has to use every skill in her arsenal to survive. Our casting team, Deb Zane and Dylan Jury, spearheaded an exhaustive search, reading hundreds of actors in search of our perfect Lucy Gray. That search ended when Rachel Zegler blew the roof off with her depth and breadth of talent as an actor, singer, and performer. Rachel is utterly compelling; just like Lucy Gray, her voice and charisma command the stage while her inner strength and humanity transform those around her,” said Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson.

Lionsgate recently announced that the prequel will hit theaters around the world on November 17, 2023.

The entire Hunger Games franchise has grossed more $3 billion worldwide.

Lawrence previously helmed The Hunger Games films Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part One, and Mockingjay Part Two. Jacobson is producing with her partner Brad Simpson, along with Lawrence. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller will serve as executive producers.

The latest draft of the screenplay is by Michael Lesslie, who is building on the work of Collins and Michael Arndt. The screenplay is based on Collins’ bestselling novel.

Zegler was lauded with Best Actress wins from the National Board of Review and the Golden Globes for her turn as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. She is next set to appear in DC Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu, which debuts in December.

She is currently filming the title role in Disney’s live action Snow White, directed by Marc Webb.

Aimee Carrero to Star in Amazon’s College-Set “The Boys” Spinoff

Aimee Carrero is one of The Boys gang…

The 32-year-old Dominican actress will star in Amazon’s college-set spinoff of The Boys, which is nearing a formal green light.

Aimee Carrero

Carrero will star opposite Shane Paul McGhie and Maddie Phillips in the project.

All three will play young superheroes on the show, joining previously cast Jaz Sinclair and Lizze Broadway who play fellow young superheroes.

Written by The Boys executive producer Craig Rosenberg, the Untitled The Boys Spinoff is set at America’s only college exclusively for young adult superheroes (and run by Vought International). It is described as an irreverent, R-rated series that explores the lives of hormonal, competitive Supes as they put their physical, sexual and moral boundaries to the test, competing for the best contracts in the best cities. Part college show, part Hunger Games — with all the heart, satire and raunch of The Boys.

The spinoff is from the entities behind the original series: Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television in association with Point Grey Pictures, Kripke Enterprises and Original Film. Rosenberg will serve as executive producer/showrunner on the spinoff.

Based on the bestselling comic book, The Boys is heading into its third season on Prime Video.

Carrero is best known for her voicing the title roles in Disney Channel’s popular animated series Elena of Avalor and Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. She also was a series regular on Freeform’s long-running sitcom Young & Hungry and recurred on the NBC dramas Blindspot and The Village.

Richie Named to People’s Top 10 Best-Dressed List

There’s no denying Nicole Richie has gone from The Simple Life to a fashion icon…

The 31-year-old part-Mexican American former reality television star, fashion designer and Fashion Star celebrity mentor has been named to People magazine’s top 10 best-dressed list for this year.

Nicole Richie

Richie, a contributor for Style.com’s Style Map blog, ranks No. 3 on the list behind Scandal star Kerry Washington and Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence.

But Richie isn’t the only Latina on this year’s best-dressed list…

Zoë Saldana, who reportedly secretly wed Italian artist Marco Perego this summer, ranks No. 4.

The fashionable Saldana made a splash at this year’s Oscars in a Alexis Mabille Couture dress, Neil Lane jewelry, Roger Vivier shoes and a Salvatore Ferragamo clutch.

Emma Stone, Lily Collins, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Chastain, Solange Knowles and Jenna Dewan-Tatum round out the list.

Román & Avitia Give Mexico Its First-Ever Olympic Medals in Archery

London Olympics 2012

Despite being thisclose to winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, Aída Román has plenty of reason to be proud.

The 24-year-old Mexican archer had to settle for silver in women’s individual archery at the London Games on Thursday after losing a tense, sudden-death shoot-off against South Korea’s Ki Bo-bae.

Aída Román

After a disappointing fourth set at Lord’s Cricket Ground, Román rallied to take the fifth and force the decisive shoot-off. Ki shot first and hit an 8. Román matched it, but Ki’s arrow was closer to the center, giving her the victory.

“Strictly speaking, it wasn’t that difficult a shot,” said the two-time Olympian about the shot that cost her the gold, “but it became a lot more complicated.”

Aída Román & Mariana Avitia

But Román’s silver is still a remarkable feat for Mexico, a nation that had never won an Olympic medal in archery. And, Mexico now has two of them.

Roman was joined on the podium by her fellow countrywoman Mariana Avitia, who came from behind to beat American Khatuna Lorig in the bronze medal match.

Mariana Avitia

The 18-year-old Mexican archer beat the Lorig—the woman who taught Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence how to shoot the bow and arrow she used while portraying Katniss in the recent Hollywood blockbuster—6-2 in the bronze medal match.

Trailing 4-2 going into the fourth set, Lorig hit a 10 so perfectly centered that it hit the camera hole and bounced off the target. Avitia followed with a 7, and Lorig had an opening. She followed with an 8, and Avitia answered with a 9. But Lorig’s third arrow was a disastrous 6, giving the bronze to Avitia and denying Lorig a second medal in her fifth Olympics and 20 years after her first — a bronze in the team event at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Kid Cudi Receives MTV Movie Award Nod

He hasn’t made his big-screen acting debut… But that hasn’t stopped Kid Cudi from picking up an MTV Movie Awards nomination.

The 28-year-old part-Mexican American singer—who starred in HBO’s How to Make It in America—received a nod in the Music category for his song “Pursuit of Happiness,” which appears in the film Project X.

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi will face off against the Chemical Brothers’ “The Devil is in the Details” from Hanna, Figurine’s “Impossible” from Like CrazyLMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” from 21 Jump Street and College with Electric Youth’s “A Real Hero” from Drive.

Meanwhile, Bridesmaids and The Hunger Games top nominees at MTV’s annual film honors with eight nods apiece, including bids for best cast, breakthrough performance and movie of the year.

The 21st annual MTV Movie Awards will be broadcast live on MTV on June 3 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.