Sunday, August 19, 2012

Confirmed Cast for "Catching Fire" - So Far

There have been a lot of announcements lately about who's going to play who in the next Hunger Games film, Catching Fire (official title: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). And since this is release weekend for the first film, I thought I'd post about this.

So who for sure is in the cast?

Well, one thing we know is that pretty much all the main cast from the original film is returning. This means we will once again see:

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hensworth as Gale Hawthorne
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Stanley Tucci as Cesar Flickerman
Willow Shields as Primrose "Prim" Everdeen
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Donald Sutherland as President Snow
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith

The next film depicts the Quarter Quell, in which (in the case of Catching Fire) Katniss and Peeta are put into the Games once again. So of course this film will have some new faces portraying the Tributes for the Quell, all former winners of the Games, as well as any other new characters. Here's who we know the casting of so far:

Jena Malone as Johanna Mason

Johanna I think appears in Mockingjay as well, so we may see Ms. Malone in more than one Hunger Games movie as this District 7 tribute. Jena Malone's an up-and-coming actress who has already had 7 award wins and 12 nominations, including two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and a Golden Globe nod. Her wins consist of one Saturn Award (an award given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films that honors the top sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films, TV shows, and home videos of the year), a DVD Exclusive Award, a Sonoma Valley Film Festival award, three Young Artist Awards, and one YoungStar Award. Her trademark appears to be playing teenage girls with problems or from dysfunctional households (a sort of typecast Lawrence herself has complained she's been getting). Her roles so far seem to have been pretty small, though she did voice Lettie in the dub of Howl's Moving Castle and played the starring role in Saved!. The roles she's known for are her award-winning role as Young Ellie in Contact, her SAG Award-nominated role as Carine McCandless in Into the Wild, her role as Lydia Benett in the 2005 Focus Features version of Pride and Prejudice (in which Donald Sutherland also appeared as Mr. Benett), and her role as Rocket (sister of Abbie Cornish's Sweetpea and Babydoll's first friend) in Sucker Punch.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything Malone's been in, so I can't say whether she'll be good or not. District 7 is the lumber/paper-making district, and based on Katniss's POV, one of the poorer districts, so we'll see how that is portrayed in Johanna.

Alan Ritchson as Gloss

Alan Ritchson is cast as Gloss, who along with his sister Cashmere represents District 1 in Catching Fire. He's mostly done TV movies up to this point, it looks like. He's also known for his starring role as Thad Castle on the Spike TV series Blue Mountain State and a recurring role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman on Smallville. He looks pretty handsome, as one might expect from a District 1 guy. Again, haven't seen anything he's been in.

Amanda Plummer as Wiress

Amanda Plummer has been cast as Wiress, Beetee's fellow tribute from District 3 who becomes an ally of Katniss's in Catching Fire and is the one who figures out the arena is clock-shaped. She's an award-winning actress, having won multiple Emmys, as well as being nominated for a Golden Globe. She also has some stage experience, which I think is always good for a film actor. She also played the recurring role of Alice Hackett on the TV show L.A. Law. The roles she's known for are Honey Bunny/Yolanda in Pulp Fiction, Laurie in My Life Without Me, the voice of The Fates in Disney's Hercules, and Rose Michaels in So I Married an Axe Murderer. She looks promising. I did see Hercules, but it was a long time ago, and I don't remember what the Fates were like talking.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee

Hunger Games fans have been waiting ravenously for this role to be cast, considering how big of a role Plutarch plays in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Hoffman's primarily known for his roles as Brandt from The Big Lebowski, Art Howe in Moneyball, Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III, and Andy in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. He's also appeared in a number of other films, including Pirate Radio, Doubt, Charlie Wilson's War, Capote, the TV movie Empire Falls, Cold Mountain, Almost Famous, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patch Adams, Boogie Nights, and When a Man Loves a Woman. An impressive résumé indeed. I just hope he plays Plutarch right.

Meta Golding as Enobaria

Meta Golding is cast as Enobaria, one of the Tributes from District 2 in Catching Fire, along with Brutus. She doesn't seem to be known for anything of note. She did, however, play recurring roles in a few TV shows: as Melissa Curtis in the TNT show Dark Blue (a show about the leader of an undercover unit), Jordan Todd/Agent Jordan Todd on Criminal Minds, Jennifer Mathis on Day Break, Lt. Tali Mayfield on JAG, and Tina Brown / Rachel / Tina Brewster on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Seems like a good résumé for a Tribute who got her teeth cosmetically modified to look like fangs.

Lynn Cohen as Mags

Lynn Cohen plays the oldest Tribute in Catching Fire, Mags of District 4. Mags was a character that seemed really positively portrayed in the book, so I hope the movie does the character justice. Cohen is a busy lady, with one movie already out this year (Not Waving But Drowning), four other movies scheduled for release this year, and a movie scheduled to come out in 2014. She's known for her roles as Mrs. Wierzbowski in Eagle Eye, Golda Meir in Munich, and Patty at the Good to Go in The Station Agent. She's also known for her recurring role as Magda, nanny/housekeeper to Miranda Holmes (Cynthia Nixon's character) on Sex and the City, and reprised her role in the 2008 Sex and the City movie. Her other major TV role is the recurring role of Judge Elizabeth Mizener on Law & Order. She looks the part I think (it's been a while since I've read Catching Fire). We'll see.

Bruno Gunn as Brutus

Bruno Gunn plays the other District 2 Tribute, Brutus. He definitely looks menacing. Gunn has done mostly TV work before this. He's known for playing Rawley on the long-running soap Guiding Light, a police officer in Bad Teacher, a technician in Mickey Blue Eyes, and "Bald Trip Fan" in Herbie: Fully Loaded. Mostly he seems to guest star in shows as a guard or a policeman. So I guess that explains the menacing look?

Patrick St. Esprit as Romulus Thread

St. Esprit plays Romulus Thread, the newly-appointed Head Peacekeeper of District 12 in Catching Fire. Don't know who that is? Well, he's the guy who had Gale flogged in public. Yeah, not a nice guy.

St. Esprit seems to be known for his recurring role as Elliot Oswald on the popular FX show Sons of Anarchy. He's also had recurring roles on Fox's The Chicago Code and TNT's Saving Grace and played a number of roles on Walker, Texas Ranger (a popular cable TV series starring Chuck Norris). In short, he's mostly done TV. I guess we'll see how he does.

E. Roger Mitchell as Chaff

Mitchell plays Chaff, one of the representatives of District 11, the same district Rue from the first film is from. Like Rue and Thresh, he is black. (I don't know where they got the idea that people from District 11 are black...supposedly this is actually canon though). Mitchell is known for his roles as Agent Kirkland in S.W.A.T., Fire Chief Tom in The Crazies, a Company Captain in Battle: Los Angeles, and Aaron in The Legend of Bagger Vance. He's also made appearances in the TV series The Shield and One Tree Hill. He has four movies set to come out this year: The Last Exorcism 2, Blackhats, Awakened, and Flight.

Maria Howell as Seeder

I love the plant-themed names in District 11. After all, they are essentially the Bread Basket of Panem. Anyway, Maria Howell plays Seeder, the other District 11 representative in Catching Fire. She is known for her roles as a welfare worker in The Blind Side, Jules's doctor in What to Expect When You're Expecting, a wife in Daddy's Little Girls, and Momma in the short film Reverie. She's also appeared on several TV shows, including The Vampire Diaries (as Ayanna and Mrs. Halpern), Army Wives (as a Counselor and Major Barcenilla), and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (as Goldie). She certainly looks lovely, and is more lighter-skinned like Rue.

Stephanie Leigh Schlund as Cashmere

Cashmere's role is the latest one to be cast. Cashmere is the sister of Gloss and his fellow Tribute from District 1. Schlund's list of credits is still quite small. She is known for her role as Megan Blakelee in The Last Song (in which Liam Hensworth starred - it's where he met his fiancée Miley Cyrus), an uncredited role as a waitress in We are Marshall, and an unknown role in The Survivor. She also had another uncredited waitress role in Stomp the Yard and was a model for 7 episodes of The Price is Right. Since she is so new, I'm not sure what to say about Schlund. I hope she can manage such a big role.


So that's who's been confirmed. Now on to who hasn't been cast (or announced to be cast anyway).

So far, according to the official Catching Fire cast page,  the roles still up in the air are:

  • Beetee, the other District 3 tribute. IMDB states that Tony Shaloub is being rumored as playing this role.
  • Finnick Odair, the hunk District 4 tribute. A number of actors have been considered for this role, namely Taylor Kitsch, Armie Hammer, Hunter Parrish, Grant Gustin, Luke Mitchell, and Garrett Hedlund. English actor Sam Claflin (William in Snow White and the Huntsman, among other roles) is the current rumored actor for this role. Robert Pattinson was also rumored to have been cast as Finnick, but THANKFULLY that rumor was debunked. I've had about enough of Pattinson, thank you very much.
  • The nameless Tributes from Districts 5, 6, 9, and 10
  • Cecelia and Woof, the Tributes from District 8.
  • Blight, Johanna Mason's fellow Tribute from District 7.
  • An unknown female character whose silhouette appears next to Jennifer Lawrence's picture and just below Chaff and Seeder's pictures on the official Catching Fire cast page's gallery of cast members. 
Thanks to IMDB and the official Casting Fire casting page for the info above (to access the casting page, you'll have to be signed into Facebook and then like the page in order for it to appear).

Even though Catching Fire's release is a ways away yet, I'm still looking forward to it. I just wish Gary Ross had stayed on to direct this one. According to the Hunger Games fan magazines I have, he is a big fan of the book series. I'm not sure why he chose not to direct this film (and I think he's not doing Mockingjay either, though that might change obviously). The new director, Francis Lawrence, is primarily known for directing music videos, and has directed music videos for the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Aerosmith, Will Smith, and Britney Spears. But he has directed regular movies as well, having directed I Am Legend, Water for Elephants, and Constantine. So at least we know he has experience in fantastical genres and in post-apocalyptic stories. He's also currently filming a fantasy drama TV movie called Gotham, about a female cop who discovers an unseen fantasy world within New York City.

So...I hope more of the cast is announced soon. I am a little worried that most of the new announced cast members have just done TV; I hope they do ok in a film. Bye for now!

(Oh, and btw, I bought the Target-exclusive 3-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD set of The Hunger Games yesterday. I have put pics of it on Instagram. Either look for user "vegastarlite17" on your Instagram app, or look up the username on Instagram viewing sites like Pingram).

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