Peter Dinklage joins the cast of The Hunger Games prequel

Peter Dinklage is the latest Hollywood star to join the cast of the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes.

The award-winning actor will play Casca Highbottom, dean of the Academy in the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel.

He joins Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth, who play Lucy Gray Baird and the young Coriolanus Snow respectively.

The story is set many years before the events of the existing films, when Snow, who goes on to become the tyrannical president of Panem, is still a teenager.

With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, he is assigned to mentor Baird, an impoverished girl from District 12 - the area where Katniss Everdeen grows up years later.

But after Baird commands all of Panem's attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in his favour.

The film, produced by Lionsgate, will debut in cinemas worldwide on November 17, 2023.

The addition of Dinklage to the cast was announced by Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate's Motion Picture Group.

"With production underway, we couldn't be more excited about the way this cast has come together and thrilled to be welcoming Peter Dinklage to Panem," said Mr Kahane.

"Peter is not just a fan favourite actor who brings a commanding presence to every part he plays. He is one of the best actors alive.

"He will bring a formidable, charismatic authority to the important role of the dean of the Academy."

Director Francis Lawrence added: "Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow's life.

"As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus's fate.

"I'm thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life."

Source: Press Association