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'The Hunger Games': Woody Harrelson cast as Haymitch Abernathy; District 10 tributes named

Woody Harrelson cast in 'The Hunger Games' Woody Harrelson will be joining Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci and Liam Hemsworth in "The Hunger Games," the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel about a deadly match that pits teens against one another.

Harrelson will play Haymitch Abernathy, a former Hunger Games champion who becomes a mentor to Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen and the other "tributes" from his district competing in the nationally televised event. Tributes are boys and girls ages 12 to 18, two from each of 12 districts in the country of Panem, who are offered up to participate in the annual fight to the death.

"Haymitch is such an unforgettable character: funny cranky outrageous, sarcastic, impatient, biting but ultimately kind," director Gary Ross said in a statement. "I'm so grateful we have Woody Harrelson to play him. I can't wait for us to get to work."

Photos: Meet the cast of 'Hunger Games'

Lionsgate described Harrelson's character as strong and attractive in his youth, transformed to jaded and unfocused after competing in the deadly arena. He's also drunk most of the time; however, mentoring Everdeen and Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson) sobers him up.

Harrelson previously starred in "Zombieland" and "No Country for Old Men." But you may recognize him from a little show called "Cheers."

District 10 tributes have also been cast: newcomer Dakota Hood and stuntman Jeremy Marinas, who has appeared as a dancer in Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never," "The Green Hornet" and "The Expendables." 

Stanley Tucci was added to the cast Monday; he'll be playing flamboyant Hunger Games host Caesar Flickerman.

Actors playing Katniss' designer Cinna, President Snow and the tributes Cato and Clove have yet to be announced, but shooting is set to begin this month with a theatrical release set for March 23, 2012.

Do you think Harrelson will make a good Haymitch? Tell us in comments.

RELATED:

Stanley Tucci cast in 'The Hunger Games'

Elizabeth Banks lands 'Hunger Games' role: Effie Trinket

The casting of 'The Hunger Games': Just calm down already

-- Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Woody Harrelson. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

Best news I've heard today! Woody is perfect for the part!

Perfect casting of Haymitch!

I was a RDJ fan for Haymitch, but, this is perfect. Woody works really well. Photogenic? Not so much.

I've never been that much of a [Harrelson] fan--was bored by Cheers...
Liked him in "No Country for Old Men."--and Javier Bardem, amazing.

Anyhow, read all 3 books, actually picturing Bill Murray as Haymitch, for some reason...
But I think Woody Harrelson's perfect!
(Like, we're not totally supposed to like him. So that's good.)

I think he'd make a good drunk--but like a sweet-heart, deep down.

And good, they got someone famous. (All the kids seem like no-names. Of course, they're kids...so can't have too much experience.)

I did see "Winter's Bone," too. Thought it was boring--but she did a good job. Seems about right.

Best. Haymitch. Ever.

HE'D MAKE A PERFECT HAYMITCH!!! I'M A NEW FAN OF THE HUNGER GAMES AND AM EAGERLY READING CATCHING FIRE NOW AND I DEF SEE WOODY AS HAYMITCH!!! I'VE BEEN A FAN SINCE I WAS A YOUNG GIRL AND I JUST SEE HIM PLAYING TGHE ROLE PERFECTLY... PLUS HE CAN PLAY A GOOD DRUNK LOL!! I'M JUST PICTURING HIM IN "MONEY TRAIN" AND I SEE IT!!! CAN'T WAIT TIL MARCH!!


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