How to Be Cast in the Film “Hunger Games”

Casting News

Director Francis Lawrence stated to PopCulture in February 2024 that he would only approve of a second “Hunger Games” film if the script originated with author Suzanne Collins. And while Collins saw that more of the story needed to be told, Lawrence, who has helmed every movie in the franchise save the first, was uncertain about what lay ahead.

The news of Collins’ new prequel, “Sunrise on the Reaping,” was made public by Scholastic on June 6. Later the same day, Lionsgate disclosed that the book’s film version would hit theaters on November 20, 2026.

Actors are preparing for the reaping, or the audition room, as “Hunger Games” fans rush to preorder the book. Are you worthy of a tribute? Everything you need to know about getting cast in the “Hunger Games” franchise will be covered in this guide, along with predictions for when casting for the prequel gets underway and suggestions from the greatest stars to have starred in the show so far.

What is the Plot of “The Hunger Games”?

The Hunger Games trilogy, which takes place in the dystopian nation of Panem, opens with the yearly “reaping,” in which the nation’s 12 districts are required by the ruling Capitol to send two “tributes”—a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18—to compete in a televised game of survival till death.

The tournament is designed as retribution for the districts’ unsuccessful uprising that took place many years ago.

Primrose, Katniss Everdeen’s 12-year-old sister, is selected as a District 12 tribute (during her first reaping, no less), and Katniss offers to step in for Prim along with Peeta Mellark, another tribute. Katniss is thrown into the chaos of the games, where she breaks the rules and modifies the outcome, upending Panem.

However, Katniss unwittingly finds herself at the epicenter of a district rebellion when she is thrown back into the chaos of the games during the Third Quarter Quell. As she and the other contestants hatch a plan to topple the Capitol, Katniss takes on the role of the leader of a rebellion that aims to end President Snow’s cruel reign of terror and bring peace back to Panem.

The first precursor to the book series, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” centers on a young Coriolanus Snow who serves as a mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, another District 12 tribute. This prequel, which is essentially a genesis story, is set 64 years before Katniss’s entry into the games and centers on a post-rebellion Capitol, where the future President Snow struggles with his inner conflict between good and evil.

The origin tale of “Sunrise on the Reaping” will center on Katniss and Peeta’s tutor, Haymitch Abernathy, who defeated the Capitol to win the Second Quarter Quell 24 years prior to the events of the trilogy. This prequel will shed light on the trauma that shaped the sardonic survivor who became the only mentor for District 12’s succeeding tributes—someone who was subsequently notorious for his inebriated ways.

Who makes up “The Hunger Games” cast?

We don’t know who will play the lead role in the prequel as the movie version of “Sunrise on the Reaping” is still in the early stages of development. Still, everyone knows the main cast from the original movies:

  • Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence
  • Coriolanus Snow, President Donald Sutherland
  • Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson
  • Gale Hawthorne played by Liam Hemsworth
  • Haymitch Abernathy, played by Woody Harrelson
  • Effie Trinket played by Elizabeth Banks
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Caesar Flickerman
  • As Primrose Everdeen, Willow defends
  • Mrs. Everdeen, played by Paula Malcomson
  • Cinna played by Lenny Kravitz
  • As Rue, Amandla Stenberg
  • Plutarch Heavensbee, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Beetee Latier, played by Jeffrey Wright
  • Finnick Odair, played by Sam Claflin
  • As Johanna Mason, Jena Malone
  • Alma Coin, President Julianne Moore
  • Boggs, played by Mahershala Ali
  • Cressida, played by Natalie Dormer

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow, Tom Blyth as young Coriolanus, and Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul were among the many newcomers to the franchise who acted in the film adaptation of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

Hunger Games

Who is “The Hunger Games” casting director?

The main CD for each movie in the series to date was Debra Zane of Debra Zane Casting:

  • The Hunger Games was released in 2012.
  • (2013) “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
  • “Part One of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” (2014)
  • “Part Two of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” (2015)
  • “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes: The Hunger Games” (2023)

Dylan Jury, Zane’s associate, also performed on “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” as CD. The two have worked together on several other movies, such as David Lowery’s “Peter Pan & Wendy” (2023) and Banks’ “Cocaine Bear” (2023).

Zane previously told Reuters that CDs possess an instinctive capacity to recognize when an actor possesses that special quality that makes them ideal for a particular role. “There are too many variables to convey to you how someone in the casting industry might know anything like that.

“You can think to yourself, ‘The director is going to love this person,'” she added. “It’s almost like a chemical reaction.” “I enjoy checking to make sure you’ve considered every possibility and turned over every stone. Then it materializes in front of your eyes.

How is the “Hunger Games” casting procedure conducted?

In order to assist the actors get into character, Zane purchased a Nerf bow-and-arrow set online and used it to sort through a tonne of Katniss audition tapes, as the Wall Street Journal reported in 2011. The plot of the novel was already well-known to fans, even though the script was kept a secret.

Although over 50 candidates tried out in person for the part using conventional methods (such as talent agencies), many more went to considerable measures to contact Zane by snail mail. However, Zane was fairly certain that her future star wasn’t in that stack of mail because she told the publication, “If you have that thing, you do find your way [to Hollywood].”

1,600 resumes were sent in response to Zane’s online casting call for Katniss, which was seeking a 15–20-year-old Caucasian girl who could portray “underfed but strong” and “naturally pretty underneath her tomboyishness.” (Lawrence eventually became the fierce Katniss and a household figure; incidentally, the same WSJ story praised her Oscar-nominated act in Debra Granik’s 2010 thriller “Winter’s Bone”).

Zane and Jury had to shuffle things up in order to cast “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.” For example, Zane recognized the ideal actor would need to be a skilled singer while casting Lucy. “This movie has a lot of music, and Lucy sings very differently than Katniss did in ‘The Hunger Games.'” Zane informed us that although Katniss only had a single song, Lucy actually performs in the film and sings well.

“We were aiming for a look that was somewhat loose, but there was a description of it in the novel,” Jury continued. “We used to say that Lucy needed to have a Marilyn Monroe quality whether she was performing or in front of the camera, but she is still clearly this survivor from the worst neighborhood. She [had to] possess both hardness and vulnerability.

Additionally, the casting team needed to locate a young actor who could fill the shoes of the late Donald Sutherland for the role of Coriolanus Snow. “We were aware that the performer needed to be tall with a long, lean face,” Zane said.

Since there is a whole department dedicated to hair color, we never worry too much about it. We went through a ton of pictures of Sutherland when he was younger, and there are some really good ones. I’m still in shock that Tom Blyth showed up for an audition.

The protagonist of this tale is the persona that the audience refers to as the villain. The candidate needed to be so endearing that you could see past your preconceived notions of [Coriolanus], according to Jury.

When does “The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping” filming start?

It’s safe to conclude that the film adaptation is still in the early phases of development because the book was only recently announced. As further information about the filming becomes available, we intend to update this article.

Sunrise on the Reaping filming start

Where are auditions and casting calls for “The Hunger Games” held?

While the new novel adaptation is still in its very early phases, casting is already underway for other projects that are similar. For the most recent listings, we recommend bookmarking our main casting call page or looking through this compendium of “Hunger Games”-inspired gigs.

If you would like additional guidance regarding auditions (especially regarding casting for YA adaptations), you may also review these resources:

Read Also: DAWN Need Talent

Which are the greatest ways to get a role on “The Hunger Games” through auditions?

Even though Lawrence and Sutherland portrayed fierce rivals on television, they had similar views about the casting process. Being offered a role is great, but there’s something special about feeling like you worked hard for it, as Lawrence said to us.

When you’re doubting yourself, you know that they recruited you for a reason and recognized something in you. Since I often experience periods of uncertainty, that has always been really beneficial.

In a similar vein, Sutherland declared that he would “eagerly and happily” go through the audition process in order to “show people what you can do.” “Just realize you have to pursue the truth, and if you’re able to find some of it and get people to recognize it, that’s wonderful,” he said, sounding arrogant.

The poet and writer Joseph Brodsky’s 1989 graduating speech at Dartmouth on ennui was then cited by him. “Try to stay passionate,” he said in the middle of the speech. Give the constellations your cool. The only thing that can prevent boredom is passion.

Malone, who portrayed the fiery Johanna, reminded us that life experience is essential to sustaining that flame. “I’m nothing without it; I have nothing to draw from. Before you go out and experience life for yourself, you’ll never really be able to understand it,” Malone stated.

Because you’ve never had those feelings personally, it can be difficult to provide authenticity to the character without having that kind of “bag of tricks” that you bring to the table. However, with acting, you can work consecutively on projects and still give something.

Moore, who portrayed President Coin, really credits the stability of her everyday existence for her acting career. She told the Cut, “I don’t think I could be happy as an actor if I didn’t have a really fulfilling personal life.” “The wonderful thing about leading a creative life and a real one is that you can have both.

Narratives that imply that being a creative person requires sacrificing your humanity bother me. You may become the person you’ve always wanted to be and bring your best to impress the higher ups by taking care of who you are outside of the audition room.


  • Mudassar Rafique

    Mudassar Rafique, a seasoned journalist with 10 years of experience, excels in uncovering and delivering news with a keen eye for detail. Renowned for insightful analyses and a commitment to journalistic integrity, he contributes to reputable publications. Passionate about staying informed, Mudassar views his role as a professional and personal mission to engage global audiences.

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