It was reported before, as a deal that was in progress, but now it’s official, Julianne Moore is joining The Hunger Games family for the two-part finale, Mockingjay Parts One and Two. Lionsgate has announced that the Academy Award-nominated actress will play President Alma Coin, the leader of the rogue, independent, District 13. For serious this time.
For those of you that haven’t read Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of young adult novels, District 13 was a region of the nation of Panem—think the post-apocalyptic remains of the United States—that specialized in nuclear technology. They were the heart of the rebellion in the Dark Days, and in the aftermath, the other 12 districts were led to believe that it had been destroyed. Due to their ability to retaliate with weapons of mass destruction, the Capital lets it be in return for their remaining hidden.
District 13 is also the seat of power for the new rebellion. After the events of the second book, Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her family take refuge there. Just because Coin is trying to overthrow the corrupt government of the Capital doesn’t mean she’s a good person. In fact, quite the opposite is true. She is as much a backbiting political snake as President Snow (Donald Sutherland), and only wants to use and manipulate Katniss for the political capital she represents. At one point she even states that Katniss is of more value to the cause dead than she is alive. Yeah, she’s kind of a stone cold jerk, and not just for that.
Casting Moore continues the trend with The Hunger Games adaptations of scoring big names in key roles. One of the elements that sets this franchise apart from others aimed at similarly teen-centric audience is the cast. Names like Moore, Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, and more, add a great deal of clout to the proceedings. It’s difficult to dismiss a film as a “kid’s movie” when the credits include Oscar winners and nominees, not to mention actors who have taken home just about every major award you can name, and probably a few you can’t.
The next chapter, as far as the films go, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, hits theaters this fall on November 22. The action picks up where the first film left off, with Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) trying to keep up the façade of their relationship and save their own lives. On their victory tour they witness the first sparks of the rebellion that spreading across Panem. In an attempt to quash this before it gets out of hand, Snow throws the young lovers back into the Hunger Games arena, hoping that the death of the symbols of the revolution will equal the death of the revolution itself.