Update: THR has pegged Malone as the new frontrunner, with the actress having been put into early negotiations for the pivotal role. Read the original story below.

Although a previous report on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — wherein we heard of Mia Wasikowska or model Zoe Aggeliki‘s potential involvement — was, seemingly, circumvented by news surrounding Jena Malone, the rumors have come full circle with a decision.

Now, according to Deadline, Aggeliki “has the edge” over the lattermost actress, currently being mired in “the most serious talks” with Francis Lawrence; both have auditioned, too. For whom? Johanna Mason, an axe-enabled District 7 warrior with “a wicked ability to murder” and the wit to fake pain that lures in more gullible competitors. She forms a bond of sorts with Katniss and Peeta in Catching Fire, though she and the series’ heroine often disagree over a proper way to win the titular competition.

Aggeliki is, technically, unproven as an actress — despite upcoming work in R.I.P.D. and the Percy Jackson sequel, we haven’t actually, you know, seen her in anything yet — yet if she did, in fact, give a more impressive turn when auditioning, I suppose there’s no two ways about it: she’s the one who should get this role. (Well, not necessarily “suppose” — you know what I mean.)

Hats off to her, then. It goes without saying (even though Deadline does) that it’s a pretty great launch point for any young actor’s career; if we’re going to get more of Zoe Aggeliki in the coming years, we might as well hope the attention’s worth it.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will open on November 22nd, 2013.

Do you think Lawrence and company have made the right casting choice? Would any of the other candidates have been preferable?

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