Jena Malone has won the role to play the strong-willed tribute Johanna Mason in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire says The Hollywood Reporter.
"Slumdog Millionaire" scribe Simon Beaufoy had signed on to originally go ahead and adapt author Suzanne Collins' next novel in the series a while back when Gary Ross was attached to direct. Since Francis Lawrence has replaced Ross, a new script was commissioned.
In the story the Mason character becomes a strong ally with Katniss and Peeta during the 75th Hunger Games, but has a testy relationship with Katniss who likens her to an older sister who hates you. She's a fierce competitor, who has no family and friends left in District 7 where she is from--her weapon of choice is an axe.
Malone will not only appear in "Catching Fire" but in "Mockingjay" as well, simce Johanna figures in that story as well. At last report both Mia Wasikowska and model/actress Zoe Aggeliki were also up for the role. as well.
Philip Seymour Hoffman has been offerd the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Gamemaker at the Capitol after Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) was executed. Plutarch is a far savvier political animal and plays a crucial role in the events of Catching Fire.
Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland are expected to return.
Things need to move at a quickend pace since Catching Fire already has a set release date of Nov. 22, 2013, and needs to finish shooting by December so that star Jennifer Lawrence can start work on Fox's in-development as yet Untitled X-Men First Class Sequel in January.