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.

Rachel Zegler to Star as Snow White in Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation of the Classic Animated Film

Rachel Zegler’s royal coronation is around the corner…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress and singer will star as Snow White in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic film that started it all for the studio’s legendary slate of animated features.

Rachel Zegler,

Marc Webb will direct the film, with Marc Platt producing. Production is expected to begin in 2022.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” said Webb of the actress who will star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s new retelling of West Side Story. “Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.”

The original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cartoon, based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, was released in 1938.

It was Disney’s inaugural animated feature and became a massive success for the studio.

Insiders say the live-action film will expand upon the story and music from the original. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar– and Tony Award-winning duo behind La La LandThe Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen, will write new songs for the film.

The studio had been taking its time on the live-action adaptation because they wanted to get the music right, and insiders says higher-ups are excited with what Pasek and Paul have come up with so far.

As for the casting process, Webb and studio execs had been meeting with talent for several months for the role of Snow White. Zegler’s auditions impressed everyone, insiders say, but another factor was footage from West Side Story that blew away the Disney studio brass who’ve seen it, and helped push the decision across the finish line.

The casting also marks a step in the right direction of Disney diversifying its Disney Princess characters, after tapping Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid film.

Zegler was just 17 when she beat out more than 30,000 actresses for the lead role of Maria in West Side Story. The new adaptation will debut on December 10 and also stars Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno.

She’ll also star in her first big comic-book film, joining Zachary Levi in D.C.’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Izabella Alvarez to Star in the CW Drama Pilot “The Republic of Sarah”

Izabella Alvarez has pledged allegiance to the republic

The 16-year-old Latina actress will star opposite Luke Mitchell and Stella Baker in the CW drama pilot The Republic of Sarah.

Izabella Alvarez

Alvarez joins a list of cast additions that includes Nia Holloway and Hope Lauren.

Hailing from Jeffrey Paul KingMarc WebbCBS Television Studios and studio-based Fulwell 73The Republic of Sarahpilot will be directed and executive produced by Kat Candler.

Here’s the description of the pilot: Faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company, rebellious high school history teacher Sarah Cooper (Baker) utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence. Now Sarah must lead a young group of misfits as they attempt to start their own country from scratch.

Alvarez will play Maya. After her mother’s imprisonment in Los Angeles, Maya is sent to Greylock to live with her estranged father. She struggles to adapt to life in rural New England at first, but with some help from her mentor, Sarah, she takes the first steps toward finding herself in her new home.

Alvarez’s breakout came in a recurring role in season 4 of Shameless. She went on to recur in Westworld, as well as appearances in Disney XD’s Walk the Prank, ABC’s Raised by Wolves and Disney+ family comedy Magic Camp. She currently voices the lead spunky character, Ronnie Anne Santiago, in Nickelodeon’s The Casagrandes, and will next be seen on the big screen in her first leading role and her debut feature Collisions. 

Rodriguez Cast in Showtime’s Comedy Pilot “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

Things are about to get a little crazy for Vincent Rodriguez III

The Latino professional actor, singer, dancer has been cast as a potential series regular on Showtime’s comedy pilot Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, starring Rachel Bloom.

Vincent Rodriguez III

The project centers on Rebecca (Bloom), a successful, driven and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything – her partnership at a prestigious law firm and her upscale apartment in Manhattan – in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness in that exotic hotbed of romance and adventure: West Covina, CA.

Rodriguez, who starred in Broadway’s Here Lies Love, will play Josh, Rebecca’s childhood boyfriend who she runs into years later and who acts as the catalyst for her dramatic life change.

The CBS Television Studios pilot, a half-hour with musical elements, starts production in October. Marc Webb will direct the pilot.