'West Side Story' breakout star Rachel Zegler joins 'Hunger Games' prequel movie

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'West Side Story' breakout star Rachel Zegler joins 'Hunger Games' prequel movie
'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' poster
Lionsgate International

MANILA, Philippines — Rachel Zegler, the breakout star of Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" remake, has joined the cast of "The Hunger Games" prequel "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" as the female lead Lucy Gray Baird.

Zegler teased her inclusion in a tweet where the first letters of each word spelled out the character's name.

"“listen up….. can y’all grow restfully? are you becoming an individual resting decisively?,” the tweet read.

Zegler confirmed the casting later on when she quote-tweeted with an image.

"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" takes place years before Katniss Everdeen became known as the Mockingjay, when an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow becomes the unlikely mentor to Baird from District 12 for the deadly annual games.

Related: 'Hunger Games' prequel in theaters on November 2023

"The Hunger Games" series author Suzanne Collins wrote the book and published it in 2020.

Tom Blyth from HBO's "The Gilded Age" was previously cast as Snow, portrayed by veteran actor Donald Sutherland in "The Hunger Games" franchise.

Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three "The Hunger Games" movies, returns to helm the prequel currently set to be released in November 2023.

Zegler will be seen next in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" this December and as the titular character in Disney's live-action remake of "Snow White."

RELATED: Gal Gadot to portray Evil Queen in Disney's live-action 'Snow White'

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