Hot news alert! Catching Fire casting update

With so much news, rumour and speculation floating around about the sequel to The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire going into production next month, here’s a list of the facts. Who’s involved in terms of writing, directing and casting?

Catching Fire casting truths

For anyone who hasn’t read the second novel, the plot goes a little like this:

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark were the miraculous joint winners of the 74th Hunger Games, and the Capitol is not happy. Rumour of rebellion is rife across Panem, and the 75th Hunger Games is approaching. Not just any old Games though; The Quarter Quell. Occurring every 25 years, the Quarter Quell always has a twist. This year, victors of past Hunger Games are reaped to go back into the arena, and Katniss and Peeta are among them.

PRODUCTION TEAM CHANGES

Francis Lawrence has replaced Gary Ross as the director of Catching Fire. It was initially thought that Ross would direct the sequel as well, however he stepped down and Lawrence has taken his place.

In terms of writing talent, the franchise has ditched Gary Ross and Billy Ray who penned the screenplay for The Hunger Games. Catching Fire‘s screenplay has been adapted from the second novel by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt.

British born Beaufoy has writer credits that include Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. Arndt was the man behind Little Miss Sunshine. He then went on to write the screenplay for Toy Story 3. So they’ve definitely hired some talent for the task.

NEW CAST MEMBERS

You’ll be pleased to know the original ensemble that included Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Hemsworth will all reprise their roles. What about new cast members though?

Lynn Cohen is to play Mags. A former victor of the Hunger Games, Mags is an 80-year-old from District 4, who volunteers to re-enter the arena, to save the life of the female victor who is reaped for the Quarter Quell.

Amanda Plummer has also been cast to play Wiress which is actually pretty perfect. Wiress is the female victor from District 3, and will be instrumental in the progression of the plot. Even if she is a bit nuts.

Jena Malone will play Johanna Mason. Johanna is the female victor from District 7, forced back into the arena for the Quarter Quell. Complex and unpredictable, she’s The Hunger Games equivalent of Harry Potter‘s Severus Snape. Can we trust her?

Sam Claflin is going to portray Finnick Odair according to Gossip Cop. This role in particular has had the most speculation since the sequel was announced, with tons of actors putting their foot forward. Claflin was last seen in Snow White and the Huntsman.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is to play Plutarch Heavensbee. As the new head Gamemaker (Seneca Crane was killed by President Snow), he’s in charge of organising the Quarter Quell. Considering he’s a character with an air of mystery about him, they couldn’t have cast the role any better.

Catching Fire will be released 22 November 2013. In the meantime, you can own the original movie, The Hunger Games from September on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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