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With the release of the Hunger Games' second installment scheduled for this November, casting is heating up for Catching Fire. First it was revealed that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been offered the role of the new Gamemaster, Plutarch Heavensbee, and now Entertainment Weekly reports that Jena Malone is on the short list to play Johanna Mason.
Mason is described in Suzanne Collins' trilogy as a crafty former Hunger Games winner who outsmarted the competition by making them think she wasn't a tough competitor but who actually had "a wicked ability to murder."
Petite but fierce, Mason is openly antagonistic toward Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) for most of the second book. (The first time they meet, Mason's character is actually naked!) A former child star, Malone, 27, is no stranger to kicking butt on screen. She starred in Sucker Punch and the recent popular History Channel mini-series Hatfields & McCoys.
Production is set to begin in just a few weeks under Francis Lawrence as the franchise's new director, but several key characters (including the hunky champion Finnick Odair) still don't have actors attached.
Another actor who himself admits he's in talks (presumably to play one of the former Hunger Games victors) is Kevin Nash, the former professional wrestler-turned-actor. (He's one of the seasoned strippers opposite Channing Tatum in Magic Mike).
"I just pray it's recurring, that he doesn't get killed," Nash said about the role he's being considered for in Catching Fire. But considering it's The Hunger Games, chances are slim that his character would survive.