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OTRC: 'Hunger Games' cast: Woody Harrelson joins film

Woody Harrelson appears in a scene from the 2009 movie 'Zombieland.' (Sony Pictures)

Woody Harrelson has joined the cast of "The Hunger Games" film as Haymitch Abernathy, the mentor of heroine Katniss Everdeen, who is played by Jennifer Lawrence.

The film is based on a novel by Suzanne Collins and is set for release on March 23, 2012. The film studio Lionsgate announced Harrelson's role in the movie in statement on Tuesday, May 10.

"Haymitch is such an unforgettable character: Funny cranky outrageous, sarcastic, impatient, biting but ultimately kind," director Gary Ross said. "I'm so grateful we have Woody Harrelson to play him. I can't wait for us to get to work."

Stanley Tucci was recently confirmed to play Caesar Flickerman, the "upbeat" host of the Hunger Games, a televised event that sees a boy and a girl from different districts fight each other to the death, the production company Lionsgate said in a statement.

Others who have been cast in "The Hunger Games" include Wes Bentley of "American Beauty," who will play head game mastermind Seneca Crame, Elizabeth Banks, who will take on the role of Effie Trinket and Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who portray Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, who compete for Everdeen's affections.

Jack Quaid, the son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, Leven Rambin, Dayo Okeniyi, Amanda Stenberg, Jeremy Marinas and Dakota Hood have also been linked to the movie.

Harrelson, 49, is known for his roles in movies such as "Zombieland" and "Natural Born Killers" and recently filmed the romantic comedy "Friends With Benefits" with Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake.

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