Just when you thought “The Hunger Games” cast couldn’t get any bigger, the Lionsgate picture adds one more, while production is already underway.
The studio has announced that Donald Sutherland has been cast in the highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestseller about teens drawn by lottery into gladiatorial battles in a dystopian future. Directed by Gary Ross (“Seabiscuit,” “Pleasantville“), the film’s ensemble cast includes a mix of seasoned veterans (Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones), buzzed-about up-and-comers (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth), random names (Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz) and many fresh new faces (too many to list).
Sutherland — our favorite roles of the icon include “Don’t Look Now,” “M*A*S*H,” “Ordinary People,” and “Klute” — will play President Snow, the autocratic ruler of Panem and its contained districts for some 25 years at the outset of the story. “With a snake-like appearance, he is cruel and ruthless in his intimidation and control tactics,” reads the just-announced press release.
Lionsgate will release “The Hunger Games” on March 23, 2012.