‘Hunger Games’ Eyeing Elizabeth Banks For Effie Trinket

The '30 Rock' actress reportedly is in talks to play the escort who helps Katniss and Peeta on their dangerous journey.

The “Hunger Games” gang is multiplying every day, so it seems. Following the news that Hollywood newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg have been cast as District 11 tributes Thresh and Rue, Variety brings word that a more familiar face is close to joining the production.

Elizabeth Banks is in talks to star as Effie Trinket in the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young-adult novel, the trade magazine reports. A pink-haired escort to District 12’s Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, Effie accompanies the kids on their fight-to-the-death journey.

A rep for Lionsgate declined to confirm the report, but said the studio hoped to have official news soon. A representative for Banks could not be reached as of press time.

The 37-year-old Banks last appeared onscreen opposite Russell Crowe in the blink-and-you-missed-it thriller “The Next Three Days,” and has a recurring role on NBC’s “30 Rock.” She’ll next be seen alongside Paul Rudd in the comedy “Our Idiot Brother.”

While we await official word of the Banks casting, we already know that much of the cast is in place. Katniss and Peeta have already been nailed down, with Jennifer Lawrence stepping in to play lead female Katniss and Josh Hutcherson portraying her Hunger Games partner, respectively. Liam Hemsworth is set to become Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’ best friend.

Directed by Gary Ross and scripted by Billy Ray, “The Hunger Games,” the first movie in a planned trilogy based on Collins’ books, is expected to shift into production later this year. The film is slated to be released on March 23, 2012.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”

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