What was once just a rumor running rampant across Panem is now a reality: Jena Malone has been officially cast as District 7 tribute Johanna Mason in the upcoming “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” according to the studio, Lionsgate.
Talk of Malone in the highly anticipated role began in late June, when the actress’ name was among several, including “Alice in Wonderland” star Mia Wasikowska and newcomer Zoe Aggeliki, reportedly in contention for the role.
Fans of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian series, on which the film is based, know Johanna Mason as an axe-throwing, tough-talking tribute from Panem’s lumber-rich region. She was a victor in a previous Hunger Games and finds herself reaped once again for the Quarter Quell.
Malone most recently appeared in the History Channel’s “Emmy-nominated mini-series “Hatfields & McCoys.” Past credits also include Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch,” “The Messenger” and “Into the Wild.”
The 27-year-old is one of many fresh faces to appear in the follow-up, which already includes Amanda Plummer as fellow tribute Wiress and Philip Seymour Hoffman as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. Several characters have yet to be cast, including fan favorite Finnick Odair. “Snow White and the Huntsman” actor Sam Claflin is rumored to be Lionsgate’s top pick for the male tribute from District 4, though no official announcement has been made.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will hit theaters November 22, 2013.
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