This past week has been a rumor-filled back and forth contest for fans of The Hunger Games as talk has swirled on just who will be playing the fan-favorite role of Johanna Mason in the upcoming sequel Catching Fire. With three actresses in the main talks, it’s been said that the role’s frontrunner happened to be 18 year old model-turned-actress Zoe Aggeliki. Once Jena Malone entered talks, however, who would end up portraying the character was ultimately left up in the air. Now, an all new report has surfaced that says Aggeliki may just become Johanna after all.
Deadline reports that after talks with Lionsgate-Summit, Aggeliki is the “one in most serious talks after both [she and Malone] auditioned for director Francis Lawrence”. Though her age is off from the source material’s character, Aggeliki is said to have plenty of promise with a possible breakout year for 2013 with roles in the Ryan Reynolds comic adaptation R.I.P.D.and the sequel with a very loyal fanbase Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
Lawrence has been said to be looking at both unknowns and more well-know actors & actresses for the parts, and Aggeliki has always been the frontrunner for Johanna since reports began releasing last week. No official word from Lionsgate-Summit has yet been released, as they do not comment on casting rumors/speculation. If a deal with Aggeliki, or even Malone, is reached they’ll issue an official press release in the coming days.
In the novels, Johanna Mason is a past Hunger Games champion from District 7 who wields an axe, given that her district focuses on lumber, and teams up with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) in the next titular event as a “Quarter Quell” twist pits past victors of any age against one another. She also teams up with Finnick Odair, who has been quite the hard and important role to cast lately, while harboring a grudge against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) for the killing of her loved ones.
Francis Lawrence will be taking over directorial duties onCatching Fire, which is aiming for a fall production start, and will be based off of a script from Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3). Training for the actors is schedule to begin within the coming months, making casting updates certain to happen soon.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, and Lenny Kravitz, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set for a release on November 22nd, 2013.