At last: some Hunger Games casting that you might actually care about. After weeks of hearing only which unknown young actors would be playing various tributes so unimportant they weren't even given names, finally Lionsgate has announced (via THR) that Stanley Tucci will be playing Caesar Flickerman, the TV personality who interviews each of the 24 young competitors in The Hunger Games before they go off to battle to the death. Tucci had been rumored for a role weeks ago alongside Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz; so far he's the only one in that group to be cast.

Flickerman is a small role, as are most of the adult roles in the film, but an important one; his interviews with our heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her love interest Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) kicks off an important element of their relationship, and he appears in some capacity in the second two books as well, even as the entire social order of the country of Panem is caught up in a revolution that Katniss leads. Much as I think Tucci would have been fantastic as the central villain of the series, President Snow, he'll do well bringing his warm but knowledgeable personality to Flickerman. It's a small role for such a major actor, but Lionsgate seems to be pulling out all the stops in filling this cast with big-name actors; it's probably the best evidence that they're going for a Harry Potter-esque success.

Filming starts fairly soon under director Gary Ross in time for the planned March 23, 2012 release. The most significant adult role we still haven't seen cast is Haymitch, the mentor to Katniss and Peeta who becomes something like a surrogate family, but there's also Cinna-- Katniss's stylist and friend-- and the aforementioned President Snow to get on board. Make your predictions for those in the comments while you can, since it's likely both roles will finally be cast very soon.

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