If they had only followed my advice and cast unknowns in the leads and known actors in the supporting roles the latest rash of casting for Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games would be much more interesting. As it stands, it’s been pretty funny to watch every movie blog and website continue to report on the unknown actors and actresses filling roles. At some point you have to stop talking about people no one has ever heard of, especially when the characters names are Tribute Boy and Tribute Girl.
Yesterday I even debated writing a satirical article based on this article announcing Samuel Tan, Mackenzie Lintz, Sam Ly and Leigha Hancock had been cast as tributes from District 7 and District 8. My angle was going to be that they had really screwed up by casting Tan, Lintz and Ly, but the casting of Hancock was brilliant. Yet, that would have taken too much time and wouldn’t have been very funny.
However, today a name has been added to the cast that you have heard of… Wes Bentley (American Beauty) has joined the cast as Seneca Crane, the head gamesmaker of the 74th Hunger Games, which pits teens from 12 districts in a televised battle to the death. Crane’s involvement in the film, however, will be quite small, but serves as a good introduction to the role of the Hunger Games gamesmaker. The character of Plutarch Heavensbee plays a much larger role in the franchise when introduced in part two, “Catching Fire”.
Bentley joins a growing cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence as the lead character Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as the baker’s son Peeta Mellark who joins Katniss in the Hunger Games competition, Liam Hemsworth will play Katniss’ best friend Gale and Elizabeth Banks will play Effie Trinket, the flaky bureaucrat who escorts her district’s young death-match contestants to their fate.
Deadline also mentions the rumored John C. Reilly involvement as Haymitch, the only District 12 tribute to ever survive the Hunger Games, saying “Lionsgate labeled that absolutely false”. Yet, a lot of the casting rumors surrounding this film have ended up coming true so I’m not writing it off just yet.
The Hunger Games will begin filming this summer under the direction of Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) for a March 23, 2012 release.