Hunter Schafer steals focus in Hunger Games prequel trailer – and fans are utterly obsessed

The first glimpse of trans icon Hunter Schafer in the Hunger Games prequel, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has surfaced – and the internet has gone into panic mode.

If you went anywhere near a cinema in the early 2010s, you’ll have had your fight or flight instincts set off this morning (28 April) by a very distinct four note tune. Far from the quiet hope of the call to arms that permeated Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games quadrilogy of films from 2012 to 2016, the melody that has heralded the first trailer for its prequel – A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – is full of the horrors to come.

That’s right – The Hunger Games renaissance is well and truly upon us, as the first trailer for the prequel has given us a tantalising sneak peak of a pre-Katniss Panem – featuring Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, Tom Blyth as eventual big bad President Snow and Viola Davis vicious villain Dr Volumnia Gaul: The head game maker of the 10th annual Hunger Games and the person who actually implemented them in the first place.

Among glimpses of, shockingly, songbirds and snakes, the trailer features the very first televised games, a much smaller arena, a delicious (apparently ad-libbed) throwback to an iconic Katniss Everdeen moment and the promise of a romance between Snow and Baird.

Twitter has, however, latched onto the appearance of one character in particular; the first look at Hunter Schafer as stylist to the ‘stars’, Tigris Snow.

In the original Hunger Games trilogy, Tigris Snow only appears in the final book (which was split into two films) to shelter Katniss and the members of her resistance group as they fight through the deadly Capitol to put an end to the Games.

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While she was then portrayed as Eugenie Bondurant, for A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the feline-inspired stylist is now portrayed by Euphoria icon and trans goddess Hunter Schafer.

Given Schafer’s star power and the fan-favourite nature of Tigris Snow (last name, not a coincidence), the character’s appearance in the trailer has garnered a lot of attention on Twitter – with the significance of a trans actor playing a cisgendered woman not lost on many.

“It’s huge that an openly trans woman has been casted to play a cis female role. I can’t wait to see hunter schafer in the hunger games. i know she’ll do tigris justice,” one fan wrote emphatically.

Another added: “omg she’s so beautiful can you hear me SOBBING???” while a third commented:

“Makes me emotional to see a trans girl slaying so hard in a big budget dystopian movie. Hunter Schafer is iconic.”

Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, starring Hunter Schafer, is due to be released 17 November, 2023.

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