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HUNGER GAMES casting news round-up: Reilly not offered role, Bell wants a role, two new tributes cast

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
April 26th, 2011

I am genuinely sorry to be writing this. I had hoped for meatier HUNGER GAMES casting news. Alas, the meat will have to come from three different stories. Let us take a breath, let us pray for a better HUNGER GAMES casting day tomorrow.

Last week, I nearly killed myself after the news that John C. Reilly was to imminently be offered the role of Haymitch Abernathy. This exclusive news that came to us according to Vulture is not true. Reilly's rep has issued an official statement (thanks to E! Online for this), that states "John does not have an offer. NY Mag never fact checked with anyone." You will notice that this statement only says there is no offer, not that Reilly hasn't been courted for the role. I, however, remain adamantly against this casting, even as a fan of Reilly.

After the break, check out today's other two HUNGER GAMES stories, including what role Kristen Bell is campaigning for and the casting of two unnamed tributes.

Over at /Film, our pals are reporting that Kristen Bell is looking to get cast in the role of Johanna Mason. At the very least, it's a sort of cute and fun story. At the most, it's a damn head-scratcher. Bell is apparently a fan of Suzanne Collins' books, and her fanhood has translated to a desire to play the tough-as-nails Mason.

Some facts on the role - Bell's campaigning is a bit preemptive, as we don't even meet Johanna until the second book of the series. But kudos to her for gunning for it. In any case, Johanna is a former Hunger Games victor who hails from District 7 (the lumber district, if you're wondering). She comes into play (literally) in the second book in the series, Catching Fire, when the latest Hunger Games mixes things up by changing the rules in celebration a Quarter Quell (a Hunger Games that takes place every twenty-fifth year). The Quarter Quell portrayed in Catching Fire has a fun twist on the rules that demands that every tribute be a former winner of the Games. Mason comes back to the arena with a roar.

So why they head-scratching? I will repeat - Johanna Mason is tough. She's physically dominant, outrageously sexualized, a virtual nihilist, the sort of person who would stab you in the heart if it would get her closer to her goal (or....would she?). Like Bell as I do, I cannot picture her in such a demanding role, either based just on physical appearance or by examining her former roles. Veronica Mars fans, I know your heroine is tough and spunky, but Johanna Mason is not spunky. She's ruthless. I just don't see it for Bell. However, if she really is as big a Hunger Games fan as she says she is, and this is the role she wants to go for, well, maybe Bell is ready to step up her acting game in a very big way. Still, not my first choice. Not even my tenth choice.

And, finally, two new tributes were cast today, thanks to THE HUNGER GAMES Official Facebook Page. Newcomers Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott will play the male and female tributes from District 3. In case you are wondering, District 3 is the district responsible for manufacturing electronics. If you are also wondering what the names of these characters are, good for you, but they don't even have names. That's how important they are.

However, if Gary Ross' film sticks closely to the book, audiences will be impressed by a clever bit of handiwork by the male tribute that is part of one the novel's best action sequences.

Mockingjays, are you as tired of all these little casting announcements as I am? Do you want to get the news all at once, or are you excited to get a little bit every day? Do you want Reilly for Haymitch? Bell for Johanna? Give it to me.

THE HUNGER GAMES will open on March 23, 2012.

Additional source Movieline

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  • Anonymous

    I love Kristen Bell but I agree that she doesn’t fit this role. I could picture her as Effie Trinket maybe but definitely not Johanna Mason.
    Do not want Reilly at all. Just no.

    I like getting a little bit of news everyday. It’s entertaining.

    • https://gordonandthewhale.com KateErbland

      I think that I am just so antsy for a concrete Haymitch announcement that getting other bits of HG news just make me nuts.

      I also agree that Bell could have been a good pick for Effie.

  • Ekelley Roundupnews

    The second book is called “Catching Fire” not “Mockingjay.”

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