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Wes Bentley joins THE HUNGER GAMES; more tributes announced

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
May 5th, 2011

Here at Gordon and the Whale, my love for The Hunger Games series initially blinded me - I was happy to post any and all casting announcements and rumors. And then I reached a point of exhaustion and ennui previously unknown to me. From now on, all HUNGER GAMES casting news here at GATW will be of the confirmed variety. No more rumors, no more buzz, only hard facts. With that, let's move on.

Wes Bentley has been cast as Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane in THE HUNGER GAMES. You will remember that this was yet another role that Vulture had all but assigned to someone else - Woody Harrelson. While we don't know if Bentley's casting means that Harrelson turned down the role, or if he was never in contention, it still proves that HUNGER GAMES casting chatter is hideously out of hand. Though the Crane role is not super-beefy in the books, I suspect they'll punch him up a bit for this film, especially with such a talented and interesting actor in the role. For more Bentley goods, hop on over to Movieline to check out a recent interview our pal Jen Yamato conducted with the actor.

In other (confirmed) HUNGER GAMES news, over at their official Facebook page, they've announced the tributes for Districts 6, 7, and 8. Only three more sets of tributes to announce! Happy day! Check out the full press release announcing Bentley's casting, after the break.

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 05, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that actor Wes Bentley (AMERICAN BEAUTY, GHOST RIDER) has been cast in the role of Seneca Crane in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel.  
Bentley joins a cast of talented young actors - Jennifer Lawrence as series heroine Katniss Everdeen with Willow Shields as little sister Primrose, and Josh Hutcherson, who was cast as Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth in the role of Gale Hawthorne.  Paula Malcomson will be playing Katniss and Primrose’s mother.  It was also announced that Elizabeth Banks has signed on for the part of Katniss’ pre-games handler Effie Trinket. 
Bentley is represented by WME and Untitled Entertainment. 
About The Role
Seneca Crane is the “Head Gamemaker” of the 74th Hunger Games, in which heroine Katniss Everdeen and childhood acquaintance Peeta Mellark are forced to compete against one another and 22 other young people in a life-threatening survival setting after Katniss bravely volunteers herself to enter the arena in the place of her younger sister. 
About The Film
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.  Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy.  If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
THE HUNGER GAMES will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of novels which have developed a global following. 
Lionsgate will release “The Hunger Games” on March 23, 2012.

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