Entertainment Weekly broke some great news about that Hunger Games sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, specifically that Jena Malone (HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, Sucker Punch) is being considered for the key role of Johanna Mason, the wily victor of a previous Hunger Games.
Johanna’s weapon of choice is the axe, since she hails from District 7, which specializes in lumber. She won her game by pretending to be a helpless weakling — until she moved in for the kill! In the novel, the character is described as possessing “a wicked ability to murder.”
Jena would be perfect for this role, because she can play very vulnerable, and, with her thin frame and young face, she can look meek, too. But Jena is also wiry, and she kicked trainloads of ass as Rocket in Sucker Punch! No one would doubt that Jena’s Johanna is a threat! Jena definitely has the acting chops to play a terrific foil for Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen.
Johanna’s introduction in the book is memorable: She strips off her district costume and confronts Katniss and Peeta while stark naked in a bid to intimidate them both. It works on Katniss, but Peeta is more… distracted than cowed. Jena could off this scene, even if it does have to be staged in a PG-13 manner.
In other casting tidbits, former professional wrestler Kevin Nash has admitted to being in talks for an undisclosed role in Catching Fire. The only thing he would tell USA Today about it: “I just pray it’s recurring; that he doesn’t get killed.” Personally, I would guess he’s under consideration for returning champion Brutus or another Career.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire starts filming this fall, and is slated for at Thanksgiving 2013 release.