By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 19, 2011 at 1:18AM
Earlier today, "Hunger Games" added newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg as District 10 members Thresh and Rue, and now a bigger name has come aboard the Gary Ross film in a meaty role.
Variety reports that Elizabeth Banks will be playing Effie Trinket in the upcoming franchise film. Based on the Suzanne Collins books that involve teens drawn by lottery into gladiatorial battles in a dystopian future, Effie is an escort for the District 12 "tributes" Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). She is essentially a handler for the teams that join the brutal battles, and while at first she's not thrilled with getting a less lucrative region, Effie later takes a shine to the District 12 battlers. It will certainly be a colorful role for Banks as Effie has pink hair and wears a bright green suit during "reapings" when contestants from each district are chosen for battle.
The film is gearing up to shoot soon with a March 23, 2012 release date already pencilled in.