The latest casting fanfare on the project surrounds a young newcomer who will play the heroine’s younger sister.

Shields will portray Primrose Everdeen alongside Jennifer Lawrence in the key role of Katniss. Lionsgate will release The Hunger Games on Mar 23, 2012.

The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestseller about a teenage survival ritual in a dystopian future also stars Josh Hutcherson in the role of Peeta Mellar and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne.

“Its so exciting to find an amazing young actress like the one we just met,” director Gary Ross said. “Prim is an emotionally demanding role and in many ways she is the cornerstone of the story. Willow Shields will make an amazing Prim and we’re very lucky to have her.”