Hunger Games: Is Donald Sutherland in Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?

President Snow in the Hunger GamesLionsgate

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes features Tom Blyth as young President Snow, but does the original actor, Donald Sutherland, show up?

The Hunger Games, set in a world in which children are forced to fight each other to the death in an arena created by an oppressive Capitol, is considered by many as the best of the teen dystopian genre.

The popular franchise – which catapulted lead actor Jennifer Lawrence to stardom – expanded in 2020 when author of the original books Suzanne Collins released a prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which is now a prequel movie.

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But while we’ve discussed whether or not Lawrence will appear in the prequel movie, considering that the film’s plot centres around President Snow’s teen years, will we be getting a cameo from the original Coriolanus Snow actor, Donald Sutherland?

Is Donald Sutherland in Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?

No, the older President Snow does not make an appearance in the Hunger Games prequel movie. In fact, none of the original Hunger Games actors show up.

This is because most of the original characters are not present in the prequel story. The only characters we know that show up in the original franchise are Snow (obviously) and his cousin, Tigris, who appears briefly in Mockingjay, played by Eugenie Bondurant. Neither are played by the same actor, with younger Snow being played by Tom Blyth and younger Tigris being played by Hunter Schafer.

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The book does not feature an older Snow either, but some fans were hoping to maybe see a cameo from Sutherland in a post-credits scene, which is sadly not the case.

Sutherland is still a busy actor however, despite being in his late 80s. He recently played the role of Mr. Harrigan in the 2022 Netflix film Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (based on the book If It Bleeds by Stephen King) and the Judge in 2023’s Miranda’s Victim. He is also well known for his appearances in Pride & Prejudice, Ad Astra, MASH, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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But if you’ll miss seeing him in the villainous role, check out the video below:

We were recently able to interview Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes director Francis Lawrence, and when asked about how Tom Blyth differed from Donald Sutherland, he had this to say:

“The truth is I didn’t want him to mimic Donald Sutherland at all. I didn’t want him to try and do his voice or his mannerisms or anything like that. And that’s partially just because we’re meeting Snow at such a sort of young, unformed age, that I wanted Tom to be able to just own the performance. But because he’s unformed, I think we were dealing with very different kinds of topics to talk about, Tom and I, and a very different kind of journey.

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“So when you’re dealing with Donald, who’s a very different kind of actor, but also is a very different kind of character, and is fully formed, and has his philosophies within already, yeah they’re just completely different experiences.”

The synopsis of the Hunger Games prequel is as follows: “Years before he becomes the tyrannical president of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow remains the last hope for his fading lineage. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow becomes alarmed when he’s assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird from District 12. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and political savvy, they race against time to ultimately reveal who’s a songbird and who’s a snake.”

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The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is now in cinemas. Check out our other Hunger Games coverage below:

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