Viola Davis will play the Head Gamemaker in "The Ballad...

Viola Davis will play the Head Gamemaker in "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes." Credit: Getty Images / Joe Maher

Viola Davis is ready to show her bad side: The Oscar and Emmy winner has been cast to play the villain in the "Hunger Games" movie prequel "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."

"Meet your Head Gamemaker. Viola Davis has been cast as Dr. Volumnia Gaul in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes — arriving in theaters November 2023," was the announcement on the film franchise's official Instagram page.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news of Davis' casting, director Francis Lawrence called her character "as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable."

The cast also includes Rachel Zegler, who starred in last year's "West Side Story" remake, as District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird; Tom Blyth as a younger version of future President Coriolanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in the four original "Hunger Games" films; Hunter Schafer as his confidante, Tigris Snow; and Peter Dinklage as Academy dean Casca Highbottom.

The four previous "Hunger Games" movies, based on the book series by Suzanne Collins, have achieved a combined worldwide box office gross of $2.97 billion, according to

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