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A largely unknown Australian actress is about to make a very big debut: Stef Dawson, who has starred in a handful of short films and indies, has landed the role of Annie Cresta, a District 4 victor/Finnick Odair's ladylove, in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" -- to be released in two parts in November 2014 and 2015.
Dawson, a striking redhead also set to feature in the 2014 horror movie "13 Girls," will join recently cast Natalie Dormer ("Game of Thrones") in the final installments of the popular YA adaptation.
As a young actress looking to make a large-scale splash, Dawson couldn't have picked a better property. Last year's inaugural entry in the franchise, from director Gary Ross, opened to warm reviews and boffo box office, eventually raking in almost $700 million worldwide and cementing itself as the heir apparent to the "Twilight" dynasty. The three books the film series is based on, by Suzanne Collins, are bestsellers in their own right, sharing the same kind of critical and commercial success as the movies.
The second "Hunger Games" movie, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," will open on November 22 of this year, with Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence back in the spotlight as Katniss Everdeen, the most recent (co-)winner of a futuristic game in which kids are pitted against one another in a battle to the death. Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and Stanley Tucci are also returning, opposite newcomers Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), Sam Claflin (Finnick), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee).
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" hits theaters on November 21, 2014, and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" will debut on November 20, 2015. "Catching Fire" and the two "Mockingjay" installments will all be directed by Francis Lawrence, a music video director turned big-screen filmmaker whose credits include "Constantine" and "I Am Legend."