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IN THE WORKS: Lionsgate adds ‘Catching Fire’ Cast, Seeks New Director for ‘Mockingjay’; Depp Joins Anderson; Radcliffe & Kazan Say Yes to ‘F Word’

IN THE WORKS: Lionsgate adds 'Catching Fire' Cast, Seeks New Director for 'Mockingjay'; Depp Joins Anderson; Radcliffe & Kazan Say Yes to 'F Word'

Amanda Plummer (“Pulp Fiction,” “The Fisher King”) is signing on to play Wiress in “Catching Fire.” This follows the announcement of Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee and Jena Malone as Johanna in “The Hunger Games” sequel with Jennifer Lawrence and new director Francis Lawrence. Lionsgate is rushing the film to shoot this fall for a November 22, 2013 release.

New Lionsgate movie chiefs, Summit’s Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, producers Nina Jacobson and author Suzanne Collins are currently vetting the right directors for the last two “Mockingjay” films, which are also hurtling into production (for release November 2014 and 2015), too fast for Francis Lawrence to be in charge. The second “Twilight” could have been a better movie had it not been so rushed, but Summit got away with it and laughed all the way to the bank. So they are following the same playbook.

“Catching Fire” synopsis below:

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark.  Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts.  Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

Wes Anderson is teaming up with Johnny Depp for his next film, reportedly titled “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” No plot or character details are known for the film produced and financed by Indian Paintbrush (“The Darjeeling Limited” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”) but Depp raises the film’s profile and widens the potential appeal of the increasingly populist director’s follow-up to his Cannes opener and indie hit “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Fingers crossed that this pairing brings out the best of Depp (“Benny & Joon”) rather than his recent tired commercial endeavors (see our Depp Career Watch). The early footage of Depp as Tonto in Disney’s already over-budget “The Lone Ranger” did not wow the hordes in Hall H at Comic-Con.

“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe will star in his first romantic comedy with Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”). “The F Word,” scripted by Elan Mastai and included in the 2008 Black List, will be directed by Michael Dowse (“Goon”). The story follows Radcliffe as he tries to be the first male to successfully have a platonic relationship with a girl he likes, only to discover she’s already in a relationship. The “F” in the title is for “friend.” The script is based on the play “Toothpaste and Cigars,” written by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi.

“Goon” producers David Gross and Jesse Shapira (“No Trace Camping”) will produce with Marc Stephenson and Hartley Gorenstein. The film shoots in Toronto this August.

Fox Searchlight opens Kazan’s “Ruby Sparks” on July 25.

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