Viola Davis to play lead villain in next Hunger Games movie
FILE - Viola Davis poses for a portrait at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sept. 9, 2018. Davis has been named Woman of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals. The Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actor is being honored April 22 in an online ceremony that will include a roast, a discussion and a speech from Davis as she is presented with her ceremonial pudding pot. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
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Viola Davis is set to play a warped villain in Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Its release date is set for September 2023.

On Monday, the film’s official Twitter account confirmed the Oscar winner will star as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, Head Gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games.

In the upcoming film — based on Suzanne Collins’ 2020 novel — Lucy Gray Baird, the female tribute from District 12, will face off in a televised, bloody battle royal against fellow kids.

Viola Davis continues to reset the bar

Never one to shy away from the biggest roles, Davis is also set to star in The Woman King next month. Throughout her career, she’s advanced stories, pushed envelopes, and redefined what range is and what it can look like for Black actors. Unfit for any Hollywood box, Davis continually challenges herself in her roles to deliver something new and unexpected for her audience.

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Davis’ off-screen life may indeed impact her role in The Hunger Games, her humanitarian work toward supporting women of color, promoting women’s rights, and ending childhood hunger are all staples of what she values. According to Oprah Daily, before the starring roles and status as a Hollywood icon, Davis grew up in immense poverty and now looks to aid others battling routine hunger – quite apropos given her new role.

Viola Davis isn’t here by mistake, and the Juilliard graduate nows from where she’s come. Davis told The Guardian, “I think that sometimes, everything that you are can crumble under the weight of Eurocentric and white-centric notions. There’s nowhere for someone like me to go – nowhere. I got a wide nose, big lips, dark skin – I mean, where do I go? Look at me – I might as well walk through the doors of Juilliard and walk my ass out!”

As a graduate of Julliard’s class of 1993, Davis walked out and never looked back as she’s gone to make history with every step along the way.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...