After much digging and deliberation it looks like Catching Fire, the sequel to this year’s smash The Hunger Games, has finally found the actress who will play Johanna Mason. Among the numerous names in the running for the role, model turned actress Zoe Aggeliki is said to have the lead.
Well, we know Robert Pattinson won’t play Finnick Odair in the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the adaptation of the second book in Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy. There are, however, three actors currently being discussed for the part: Taylor Kitsch, Garrett Hedlund, and Armie Hammer.
A source tells E! Online that this trio of dudes is at the top of Lionsgate’s wish list of actors to play the dreamy tribute and previous Hunger Games victor. A decision could even come as early as this week. Then again, another source tells them that the studio is considering going with an unknown for a potentially star-making role, giving the example of Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise.
Finnick comes from District 4, a waterfront zone in the world of Panem, so he’s proficient in fishing, knot tying, and all the sundry skills that go along with being seafaring folk. He won the Hunger Games at the tender age of 14, and because of his statuesque good looks he becomes quite the sex symbol and social butterfly in the Capital. He plays an important role in both Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the series finale.
The Hunger Games was adapted from a book by the same name, so you might think they’ll just title the next movie after the second book in that series. But the second book is called simply Catching Fire and this is Hollywood, where brand recognition among idiots is more important than anything. So, predictably, the second film has been titled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
At least now we know what they’ll call the third movie, should they make it. Hunger Games 3 will of course be The Hunger Games: Mockingjay when and if it happens.
It works and fits into the tradition of other great franchise titles. Though these days no one actually runs around calling Empire Strikes Back by its full Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back title at the time it was pretty important and whenever Lucas re-releases it, it’s always a thrill to see Star Wars back up on the marquee. I doubt the Hunger Games franchise will ever achieve such lofty cultural status, but if it ever does, they’re all set.
After weeks of rumors and reports Lionsgate has confirmed that Constantine and I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence will indeed helm Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, this year’s biggest smash (an absurd sounding $602 million worldwide so far). The news first began circulating shortly after Games director Gary Ross absconded from the follow-up, but now the hire is all sorts of official.
Here is what the studio, which is laughing all the way to the bank, had to say:
Lionsgate, the cast, and filmmakers are all thrilled to have Francis Lawrence come on board as director of Catching Fire. Suzanne’s brilliant book is the intense story of the birth of the rebellion and Katniss’ emotionally charged journey as she takes on the mantle of the Mockingjay, and we all think Francis is the perfect director to bring the story to life,” said Erik Feig, Lionsgate’s President Of Production.
The first film in the proposed series based on the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins was every bit the smash fans (and Lionsgate) hoped it would be. It’s grossed more than $500 million so far, so it’s no surprise Lionsgate is chomping at the bit to start production on the sequel. Jennifer Lawrence’s shooting schedule for the X-Men: First Class sequel and the tentative Catching Fire release date of November 2013 make the time for doing so pretty tight, though. Last week, The Hunger Games writer/director Gary Ross announced that this condensed production period wouldn’t allow him to “write and prep the movie [he] would have wanted to make” and dropped out of the project. Now, it looks like Francis Lawrence will be stepping in to fill the void.
According to The Wrap, Lionsgate is getting ready to offer Lawrence the position of director for Catching Fire. Francis Lawrence’s credits are something of a mixed bag, including directing gigs on Constantine, Water for Elephants, and Will Smith’s I Am Legend. However, he has also served as executive producer on this season’s Touch and the short-lived, sadly overlooked series Kings (2009) and directed the pilots of both shows. Lawrence is currently working on a drama pilot for ABC called Gotham, which seems to essentially be Grimm with a female cop.
The Hunger Games was originally written for teens, but apparently it’s also really big with parents. Hopefully those parents aren’t also teens. Probably not. We know it’s big with parents because they’re naming their kids after Hunger Games characters.
Nameberry reports that while in the past Twilight was the biggest modern cultural influence on what parents might name their kids The Hunger Games has taken its place. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean everyone’s naming their daughter Katniss. While the names Katniss, Primrose, Posy, and Clove have seen a big jump in popularity one of the biggest names of 2012 is going to end up being Rue.
Rue is the brave little girl Katniss protects while playing the Hunger Games. She’s murdered by another, particularly vicious player, and her district responds by revolting against the government in her honor. Now she’s being honored in the real world too, as Rue is now suddenly one of the hottest baby names of the moment.