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The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Volunteers Its Tributes

Even before Suzanne Collins' prequel novel "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" hit shelves in the spring of 2020, a film adaptation had been announced. Given the smashing success of the original film trilogy of "The Hunger Games," that news wasn't particularly surprising. However, it meant that fans would be long wondering all manner of questions. What would a more recently wartorn Panem look like on screen? Who would be chosen to play a young Coriolanus Snow? Finally, because the universe of "The Hunger Games" is so diverse and intricate, who would play the various tributes and mentors?

Fans got great news when a release date -– November 17, 2023 -– was announced in April of 2022. It was quickly followed by news that Tom Blyth ("Scott and Sid," "Benediction") was cast as the 18-year-old Snow and that Rachel Zegler ("West Side Story") would be playing Lucy Gray Baird, the singing tribute from District 12 Snow is tasked with mentoring (via Deadline).

Still, that left a whole bunch of characters — tributes and mentors both — without a face. Until today's announcement, that is.

Here is the first batch of tributes and mentors

According to Deadline, Lionsgate has announced that the roles of three tributes and two mentors have now been cast in "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes." The role of Marcus, the tribute from District 2, will be played by young actor Jerome Lance. Knox Gibson, an Australian actor and athlete, will be playing Bobbin, the tribute from District 8. Coral, of District 4, will be played by Mackenzie Lansing. On the mentor end, we have Ashley Liao playing Snow's dear friend and mentor to District 11's tribute, while Aamer Husain will play Felix Ravinstill, another District 11 mentor.

Predictably, these faces are all fresh, young, and in various places regarding the start of their careers. Liao has previously been seen as the teenage version of Ali Wong's character in "Always Be My Maybe" and as Princess Eleanor in the Disney+ original "Secret Society of Second Born Royals" (via IMDb). Viewers may also recognize Mackenzie Lansing as Brianna Delrasso in "Mare of Easttown" (via IMDb).

Meanwhile, Husain appeared in a supporting role in an episode of the Canadian mystery series "Hudson & Rex" (via IMDb). Gibson's previous film experience is summed up in his role as Peter in the Netflix short "Forgive Us Our Trespasses" (via IMDb). Jerome Lance, whom Deadline notes is in his last year at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, is making his screen debut with "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."