Every few years a film franchise hits theaters that becomes a sensation, especially among young people. The Hunger Games was definitely in that category, with the four movies doing super well in theaters. Moviegoers will soon be able to return to Panem with the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (see what we know here), which stars Rachel Zegler. And she recently compared her Hunger Games character to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen.
The Hunger Games movies made Jennifer Lawrence into a household name, and she received a ton of praise for her portrayal of protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Zegler’s new character Lucy Gray Baird is also from District 12, so there are understandably plenty of comparisons already being made between the two heroes. In a recent conversation with ComicBook, the West Side Story actress spoke about the connective tissue between her character and Katniss, saying:
There you have it. It looks like Zegler didn’t necessarily re-watch the Hunger Games movie or try to emulate Jennifer Lawreence’s performance as Katniss. Instead, she simply let Lucy’s background and life in Panem inform the way she brought another District 12 tribute to life on the big screen. And just like that she led the cast of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Despite their similar origin, Katniss and Lucy look to be quite different as a whole. While Jennifer Lawrence’s hero didn’t enjoy being in the spotlight and had a fairly gruff exterior, Rachel Zegler’s new character is a natural performer and singer. And as such, she should appeal to Capitol sponsors in a very unique way. Later in that same interview, Zegler spoke about that aspect of her character, saying:
Touche. It should be fascinating to see how The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is linked to the original franchise, and any ways that Katniss’ adventures might be hinted at. While there are some fans who want to see Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games prequel, it’s probably best to let the new story stand on its own.
Katniss might not physically appear in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but her influence has definitely been felt. Case in point: Rachel Zegler has been nodding to that heroine in her red carpet choices for the prequel. And Zegler recently revealed what it was like meeting Jennifer Lawrence after filming.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will hit theaters on November 17th. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.
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Khushi Patel is a science fiction author who lives in Austin, Texas. She has published three novels, and her work has been praised for its originality and imagination. Khushi is a graduate of Rice University, and she has worked as a software engineer. She is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and her books have been nominated for several awards.