Lionsgate sent us the following Hunger Games movie official Press Release:

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 20, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that newcomer Willow Shields has been cast in the role of Primrose Everdeen, little sister to heroine Katniss, in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel.

Shields joins talented young actors Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson, in the role of Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth in the role of Gale Hawthorne.

Said director Gary Ross of the casting decision, “Its so exciting to find an amazing young actress like the one we just met. 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.”

Shields is represented by the A&M Agency in her home state of New Mexico.

About The Film

The Hunger Games is a worldwide fan phenomenon, the novel having been on the New York Times best seller list for over 130 consecutive weeks. The film chronicles Katniss Everdeen’s defiant struggle to survive in a future dystopia where The Capitol requires its twelve subjugated districts to atone for their onetime insurrection through the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death event held in a fantastical man made arena. Although persevering through extreme hardship is commonplace for the audacious heroine, she is forced to make choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home to District 12.

THE HUNGER GAMES will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of science fiction/action novels which have developed a global following.

Lionsgate will release “The Hunger Games” on March 23, 2012.