Lionsgate has confirmed Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, Hatfields & McCoys) will play Johanna Mason in the second film based on Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire. The news comes two weeks after the confirmation of Philip Seymour Hoffman's involvement as Plutarch Heavensbee, with filming expected to begin this fall.
In Collins' books, Johanna Mason is a victor from District 7 who is described as being in her early 20s and having brown eyes and spiky hair. Her weapon of choice is an axe, a natural choice given the fact her district's industry is lumber. Per the Lionsgate press release, Johanna is "is one of the youngest, but also one of the most psychologically scarred Quarter Quell participants."
The official synopsis for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a 'Victor's Tour' of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever."
Francis Lawrence is set to direct Catching Fire and Lionsgate is aiming for a November 22, 2013 release.
(Photo © Richard Chavez)