Following weeks of speculation, Lionsgate has today announced that Jena Malone has been cast in the role of Johanna Mason in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’ the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire. Johanna Mason is a female victor from a past Games still in her early twenties, and is one of the youngest, but also one of the most psychologically scarred Quarter Quell participants. Malone recently starred opposite Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in the History Channel’s Emmy nominated mini-series ‘Hatfields & McCoys.’  The mini-series broke US cable records and is the new most-watched entertainment telecast of all time on US cable. Her additional credits include Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch,’ Oren Moverman’s ‘The Messenger,’ and Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild.’  She will soon begin production on Lonely Hunter.’ Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles. Both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amanda Plummer recently joined the cast for the sequel.

‘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. ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has over 36 million copies in print in the US alone. Lionsgate will release ’The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ on November 22th, 2013.  The third chapter in the “The Hunger Games” trilogy is to be split into two films. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1′ will be released November 21th, 2014 with ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2′ following on November 20th, 2015. Ongoing casting news and information for ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ can be found at: