Finally, wonderfully, thankfully, Jena Malone has accepted the role of Johanna Mason in Catching Fire! Because of how even the shakiest casting rumors for this movie are being dutifully reported, we’ve already said plenty about Jena, including pointing you toward the videos that will set up her performance as the oft-naked, always-axe-wielding victor-turned-repeat-tribute. Although Jena isn’t on Twitter, she posted a photo to Instagram with this bubbly caption:
On top of the world today!!!!! Lionsgate finally made the announcement today. I get the incredible opportunity to play Johanna Mason in the hunger games trilogy. I’ve been bursting at the seams wanting to share!!!
Now, with the pretty table starting to fill up over at CatchingFireCasting.com, let’s contemplate who’s left to enter the Arena with Katniss and Peeta in the second Hunger Games movie.
Cashmere and Gloss: Like The Hunger Games‘ Glimmer (played by Leven Rambin), this brother-sister duo have blonde hair and use their classical beauty to gain sponsors pre-Games. I can completely envision Brittany Snow as Cashmere; she’s a talented actress who’s underutilized in films like Hairspray, and bigger starring roles like in John Tucker Must Die are easily forgotten. Plus, her new movie Pitch Perfect comes out this fall, so it’d be great marketing. And maybe the producers can use Hunter Parrish – long a fan favorite for Peeta before Josh Hutcherson got cast — as Gloss?
Brutus: When Magic Mike‘s older dancer Kevin Nash (a wrestler IRL) said that he was in talks for a part, fans figured that the only possible role for him is this hulking District 2 victor who ends up becoming friends with Peeta. And then, very markedly not becoming friends with Peeta. I won’t spoil the rest, but yeah, let’s see poor little Josh face off against this guy.
Beetee: Monk star Tony Shalhoub is apparently being seriously considered for the twitchy victor with an affinity for electronics. As the kids say on Twitter, co-sign.
Mags: The fans really want Lionsgate to cast a non-white actor for Mags, especially since the official Panem map seems to point to District 4 being squarely in what used to be Mexico. Perhaps Lupe Ontiveros would be up for it? She’s a bit young for Mags, but what a presence.
Enobaria: Although you might want to write off Brutus’ fellow District 2 victor as a scary-crazy woman with gold-tipped fangs, she plays a pretty big part in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. So we need someone we can depend on. I don’t have any specific suggestions at the moment, but here’s another opportunity for an actress in her forties to take on a very different role.
Finnick: Don’t even talk to me about this. Lionsgate knows that this is the one bit of casting that the fans are just dying to know, so of course they’re going to wait until right before shooting to give us their decision. Last week Variety reported that Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Prince Charming Sam Claflin was a frontrunner. He could be pretty good for the role, but personally I’m still gunning for the studio to take a risk on Jesse Williams.
Blight and Cecelia: Blight will probably be played by a medium-tier actor, since he doesn’t have a huge role. According to these casting notes, the character is in his late twenties… However, if they were to up the age a bit, I’d love to see Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy) in the role. And because Cecelia is valued for her sweet and motherly nature, my mind immediately went to Jennifer Garner. Just you wait, this post is starting to get a bit silly.
Woof: So many older actors in this Games! Woof is a small part, both in the book’s plot and because the other tributes don’t think much of him since he’s hard of hearing and probably senile. It’d probably be impossible, but I’d love to see James Cromwell pop in for a cameo.
Chaff and Seeder: These District 11 tributes are naturally on Katniss’ side, considering the respect with which she treated Thresh and Rue in the 74th Hunger Games. They’re not huge roles, but they leave an impact on Katniss, so I’m just gonna go for broke and put out my impossible casting choices: Idris Elba as Haymitch’s one-handed drinking buddy Chaff and Viola Davis as Seeder. Boom.
Catching Fire is rumored to start shooting in September, so let’s see more updates from CatchingFireCasting.com, yeah?
Photo: housexofxnight on deviantART