Two Newcomers Join Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games’

Dayo Okeniyi will play Thresh and Amandla Stenberg will play Rue in the movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson

Newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg are joining the cast of "The Hunger Games," Lionsgate's new franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson.

Okeniyi will play Thresh and Stenberg will play Rue.

The characters are "tributes."

Also read: Hunger Games' Gets Its Peeta & Gale — Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

In Suzanne Collins' novels, each district of Panem is required to send two tributes — children between 12 and 18 years old — to participate in the annual Hunger Games.

Rue is described as a small 12-year-old girl who forms an alliance with Katniss Everdeen — Lawrence's character. Thresh is described as strong.

There are 24 "tributes" from a dozen districts in the movie. Lawrence and Hutcherson, the stars, are the "tributes" from District 12.

Liam Hemsworth plays the role of Gale Hawthorne.

Based on a novel by Suzanne Collins novel, "The Hunger Games" is the first in a trilogy and has sold 3 million copies in print in the United States.

“The Hunger Games” is set in a dystopic world, where teenagers are forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death televised event.

Lionsgate has high hopes for the film, which it hopes to turn into a franchise to potentially rival Summit's mega-grossing "Twilight."

Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit") will direct, and Nina Jacobson’s Color Force will produce in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Billy Ray ("Shattered Glass," "State of Play") wrote the screenplay.

The film hits theaters on March 23, 2012.