Last week's intriguing "Hunger Games" casting [article id="1662239"]rumors[/article] are true! Elizabeth Banks has officially been cast in Lionsgate's highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling dystopian novel. Banks will play Effie Trinket, the intense, chirpy, pink-haired escort to District 12's Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Effie accompanies and helps prepare the teenagers on their fight-to-the-death journey.
The 37-year-old Banks last appeared onscreen opposite Russell Crowe in the 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." Banks' casting announcement leaves only a few more holes to fill in the ever-growing cast, with fans eager to learn who'll play the roles of Cinna, the stylist assigned to the District 12 tributes, and Haymich, the cranky, alcoholic, one-time Hunger Games champion from 12. Although reports surfaced late last week that John C. Reilly was in talks to play Haymich, we've heard that's just a rumor.
Banks joins previously announced co-stars Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), along with Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi as District 11 tributes, Leven Rambin and Jack Quaid as District 1 contenders, and Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott for District 3.
Directed by Gary Ross and scripted by Billy Ray, "The Hunger Games," the first movie in a possible 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.
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