Speculation Over: Jena Malone Officially Cast In 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'by: Posted:
(WARNING! May contain some spoilers from "The Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire." Ye be warned.)
No further speculation: welcome to "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Jena Malone.
Speculation broke July 3 that the 27-year-old "Sucker Punch" and "Donnie Darko" star was circling a role, but Deadline indicates that Lionsgate announced officially Monday that she's ago for the 2013 sequel to this past spring's smash adaptation "The Hunger Games."
In this tale of Katniss Everdeen's victory tour of Panem alongside co-victor Peeta Mellark, Malone will play Johanna Mason, not only a veteran victor of The Hunger Games, but one of the youngest to ever come out on top. Her victory, though, comes at the cost of being psychologically damaged by The Capital's competition.
Malone didn't necessarily come by the role easily. At one point, it seemed that less experienced young actress Zoe Aggeliki would snare it. At still another, a sweeping Twitter campaign made its way behind "Glee" beauty Naya Rivera. Alas, neither panned out.
Malone brings all of the qualifications one could ask. "Sucker Punch" demonstrated her tolerance for physicality, especially for an actress so small in stature. On the other hand, she gained her first significant awareness playing the titular character's awkward girlfriend and daughter of an abusive father in Richard Kelly's brooding, bizarre "Donnie Darko." After that, she played a pregnant square-peg teen at a private Christian high school in the comedy "Saved!" alongside Macaulay Culkin, Mandy Moore and Eva Amurri.
Of course, "Catching Fire" also retains "The Hunger Games" marquee stars Jennifer Lawrence as Everdeen, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, among others.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" hits theaters everywhere Nov. 22, 2013.