Lionsgate's highly-anticipated "The Hunger Games" adaptation has added another young performer: "American Beauty" star Wes Bentley.

The actor will join the already announced Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone," "X-Men: First Class"), newcomer Willow Shields, Liam Hemsworth (brother of "Thor's" Chris Hemsworth), Josh Hutcherson (the "Red Dawn" remake), Paula Malcomson ("Caprica") and Elizabeth Banks ("Knocked Up") in the Gary Ross-directed adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling fantasy novel series.

Bentley will take on the role of Seneca Crane, the "Head Gamemaker" of the Hunger Games, in which teenager Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) is among a group of gladiators who are forced fight each other in the arena in a post-apocalyptic future.

After drawing acclaim for his memorable performance in the 1999 best picture winner "American Beauty," Bentley's career stumbled with high-brow flops like "The Claim" and "Four Feathers" and studio pap like "Ghost Rider" and "Jonah Hex." "Hunger Games" should put the actor on the comeback trail.

"Hunger Games" opens nationwide March 23, 2012.

Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.