Just a few days ago the word on the street was that two actresses were on the short list to play “Johanna Mason” in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but now one of them is out and another has taken her place.
EW reports that the previously mentioned Mia Wasikowska was, in fact, not approached for the role, nor would she have been available to shoot the film anyway. In her place comes Jena Malone (Sucker Punch) as a candidate to portray the strong-willed tribute Johanna.
The character is described in author Suzanne Collins’ bestseller as possessing “a wicked ability to murder,” winning her Hunger Games by pretending to be weak and then picking off the other tributes. One open question about the character is whether director Francis Lawrence will keep Johanna’s introduction from the book, in which she first meets heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) naked — save for her green slippers.
Lionsgate is, per usual, not commenting on any casting rumors so it’s unclear at this point if Zoe Aggeliki, who was named as being in the running for the part at the same time as Wasikowska, is still being considered along with Malone. Hopefully we’ll have something more solid to report soon.
The sequel to the 2008 bestseller by Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the fictional, futuristic nation of Panem. Due to the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the ruling Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of The Hunger Games.
Francis Lawrence will direct the sequel for Lionsgate, who is aiming for a November 2013 release.
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