Elizabeth Banks in Talks to Join 'The Hunger Games' [Updated]

[Update: Banks confirmed she will play Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games via Twitter]

April has been flush with casting news for Gary Ross' The Hunger Games. Just this week, we learned that newcomers Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi had joined the cast as Rue and Thresh, respectively, and earlier in the month we learned that Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth would play Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne.

And of course, that's all on top of the news that Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence, who also stars in X-Men: First Class, will play the lead role of Katniss Everdeen. Now, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that actress Elizabeth Banks is in talks to join the cast of the film as well.

Banks will step into the role of Effie Trinket, the escort to the District 12 tributes, including Katniss. Is Banks the right person for the part? In her career to date, Banks has shown a great knack for comedy, starring in films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and on TV in memorable guest spots for Scrubs and 30 Rock. While The Hunger Games is no comedy, Banks could certainly excel as the fashionable, prim, and occasionally aloof Trinket.

Effie Trinket, known in the first book of the series for her flamboyant pink wig and bubbly personality, is a secondary character, but one which is popular among fans of the series. A handful of informal polls and fantasy casting posts online pegged Banks as a good candidate for the role alongside other comedic actresses like Kristen Chenowith, who had actually said she was "obsessed" with the series.

Even though I'm not super familiar with the books, if I was in Hollywood right now, I might say I was "obsessed" with the series too if it helped my chances of getting a part. As the first film in a widely-anticipated trilogy, The Hunger Games definitely seems like the kind of project a lot of actors would want to hitch on to right away.

Could The Hunger Games be the next billion dollar teen-friendly Hollywood franchise? We'll find out next year when The Hunger Games hits theaters on March 23rd, 2012.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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