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Hunger Games prequel cast premiere film, welcome end of strike

The stars of The Hunger Games prequel welcomed the end of a four-month long Hollywood actors strike on Thursday (Nov 9) as they walked the red carpet at the film’s world premiere in London.

The SAG-AFTRA union reached a tentative agreement with major studios on Wednesday to resolve the second of two strikes that had rocked the entertainment industry as writers and performers demanded higher pay in the streaming TV era.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, set 64 years before the films starring Jennifer Lawrence and which follows the rise of tyrannical president of Panem, Coriolanus Snow, had been offered a waiver allowing cast members to promote it during the strike.

“I already woke up feeling positive and then I saw the news, I was like ‘Well, this is a great day’,” Tom Blyth, who plays the young Snow in the new film, told Reuters.

“It feels pretty terrific … for it to be the premiere after so much time … and for it to happen on a day with other really good news is good,” said Josh Andres Rivera, who plays Snow’s friend, Sejanus Plinth. “I know a lot of people who are ready to get back to work. I’m ready to get back to work”.

SAG-AFTRA members walked off the job in July after negotiations – over compensation and protections around the use of artificial intelligence – with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) collapsed.

Like the other The Hunger Games films, The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes is a Lionsgate movie, a studio which is not part of the AMPTP.

In the film, Snow mentors and falls for Lucy Gray Baird, the female District 12 tribute during the 10th Hunger Games – a gladiatorial contest that pits the oppressed against each other, while the elite of the wealthy Capitol watch on.

Rachel Zegler, who plays Lucy, described the role as “overwhelming in the best possible sense”.

“I got to do my own stunts. I got to hold live animals, sing, dance, cry, run for my life. It’s amazing,” she said.

Like the other movies, the prequel is based on a novel by Suzanne Collins, released in 2020.

The film opens in Singapore on Nov 16. 


Hollywood actors reach tentative deal with studios to end strike
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