Jena Malone is Top Choice to Play Johanna Mason in 'Catching Fire'
Another day, another complete 180 on casting news for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the sequel to the March blockbuster adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling young adult book series starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. While Mia Wasikowska and model turned actress Zoe Aggeliki were said to be in the running for the role of Johanna Mason, a new tribute in the 75th Hunger Games, we were sure other actresses were in the running. Our suspicions have been confirmed as EW reports that Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, Saved) is now the top choice for the pivotal role. That actually sounds perfect.
Malone has the right age, look, and experience in both drama and action with roles ranging from Sucker Punch to a recent turn in the History Channel miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys." In a way that doesn't spoil any of the story, the book describes Mason as having "a wicked ability to murder," wielding an axe as her weapon of choice and a ruthless sense of survival. Mason poses a variety of problems for Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Hutcherson) as they both return to the Hunger Games arena for the Third Quarter Quell, which brings previous victors of past games into the arena to fight again. It's not clear if Malone is getting an offer, already in talks, or merely at the top of a wishlist, but she's a talent I hadn't even thought about for the role and just makes sense. And for an actress who hasn't had a huge role, this could do wonders for her career.