Thesp to play Mags, a past victor of the Hunger Games

Lynn Cohen has been cast in Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” as Mags, a past victor of the Hunger Games.

Lionsgate made the announcement Thursday. Filming of the sequel is expected to begin September.

Studio signed Francis Lawrence to direct “Catching Fire” in early May and Lionsgate has set a release on Nov. 22, 2013. “The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross ankled the sequel on April 10, citing a “fixed and tight production schedule” as his key reason for exiting.

Suzanne Collins’ “Catching Fire” story features a special edition of the Hunger Games every quarter-century in which tributes are “reaped” from the victors of past games. “Slumdog Millionaire” screenwriter Simon Beaufoy is crafting the “Fire” script.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson will return in their roles. The film will be produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force with producer Jon Kilik.

Recent “Catching Fire” castings include Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, Amanda Plummer as Wiress and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee.

Lionsgate has set the release dates for the final two films in the franchise, based on the concluding “Mockingjay” tome in Collins’ trilogy, for November 2014 and November 2015.

The Mags character that Cohen will play is an 80-year-old Hunger Games victor from District 4. Cohen has also appeared in Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” and Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, NY” and “Sex and The City” and its sequel. She can next be seen in “They Came Together” with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler.

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