‘Hunger Games’ Snares Elizabeth Banks

As expected, the “Spider-Man” star will play Effie Trinket in Lionsgate’s anticipated upcoming release

Elizabeth Banks is officially hungry.

The "Spider-Man" star will play the perky Effie Trinket in Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games," the studio announced Thursday.

The announcement had been long-anticipated.

Banks joins Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the studio's adaptation of Suzanne Collins's bestselling novels.

Also read: Elizabeth Banks Circling Lionsgate's 'Hunger Games'

“The Hunger Games” is set in a dystopic world in which teenagers are forced to participate in an annually televized fight-to-the-death events. 

Lionsgate plans to release the film on March 23, 2012.

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

Banks, who starred in "Seabiscuit," "W," "Spider-Man" and "The 40 Year Old Virgin," among others, is represented by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.