Casting for director Gary Ross' cinematic adaptation of The Hunger Games is almost done at this point. All twelve pairs of "tribute" roles in the film have been cast (check out the complete roster) and most of the adult supporting roles have been filled as well - with the exception of President Snow, the ruthless leader of the futuristic U.S.A. (renamed Panem) in Suzanne Collins' original Hunger Games trilogy.
The latest part to be filled is that of Cinna, who will be brought to life by musician/actor Lenny Kravitz. Like fellow Hunger Games supporting players Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson, the rumors about Kravitz having been approached to star in Ross' film have turned out to be true after all.
For Hunger Games novices, here is how Lionsgate describes the character Kravitz will be playing:
Cinna is Katniss Everdeen’s assigned fashion stylist for the highly ceremonial lead up to The 74th Annual Hunger Games. Though he’s a mild mannered first time stylist, the designs he creates, such as the “Girl On Fire” costume for the tributes’ live televised debut, are show-stopping. With odds being set, wagers being placed, and wealthy benefactors able to occasionally intervene in the games, a high public profile is tantamount to a huge advantage for any contestant entering the arena. The stunning and unique designs Cinna creates for Katniss define her public identity, and in an all too real way, could also contribute to her very survival.
Kravitz previously received a fair bit of praise as an actor for his brief but impressionable turn as the kindly Nurse John in Precious - and based on that performance alone, he seems a proper fit to play the empathetic, if mildly eccentric, Cinna as well. He'll be joined in the film by the likes of actresses Brooke Bundy and Latarsha Rose as stylists who prep (or, rather, dress) District 12 "tributes" Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) for battle.
UPDATE: Deadline has confirmed that Toby Jones is also now a member of the Hunger Games cast, in the role of games host/narrator Claudius Templesmith. Jones is a well-established character actor who'll be appearing in this summer's Captain America (which features his future Hunger Games costar, Stanley Tucci) and this winter's Adventures of Tintin as well. He also made a memorable appearance as "The Dream Lord" during the previous season of Doctor Who.
Excellent character actors and actresses like Harrelson, Tucci, Kravitz, Paula Malcomson, and Wes Bentley - along with a talened comical type like Elizabeth Banks - have been recruited to play the non-adolescent players in The Hunger Games. That move alone recalls the approach to casting for the adult roles in the Harry Potter films, which basically feature a "who's who" collection of the best English and British thespians currently working in the biz. Hunger Games may not reach Potter levels of financial success, but hopefully all this casting is a sign that the film will end up being a great adaptation of Collins' best-selling novel.
The Hunger Games hits theaters on March 23rd, 2012.
Update Source: Deadline