Apr 7 2011 8:45am

For the Love of . . . Hunger Games Casting?

The Hollywood Reporter, among other news and entertainment agencies, reported on Monday that two key Hunger Games characters, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, had been cast for the upcoming film adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins's popular Hunger Games trilogy. Director Gary Ross's picks for the romantic rivals? Josh Hutcherson of The Kids Are All Right for heroine Katniss Everdeen's fellow tribute, Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth of The Last Song for her best friend, Gale. Combined with Jennifer Lawrence's casting (which also rode the intense Hunger Games casting buzz), we now know the Katniss sandwich will something look like this:

Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, and Josh Hutcherson








I think it's pretty safe to assume they've got the pretty covered. But now that the initial shock has worn off, what do you think of the casting of these three overall? Are they what you pictured? Think they'll be able to sell the relationship(s) you've been buying? And how does this news affect your interest in seeing the movie? More excited? Less? Still don't give a damn? Spill!

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Regina Thorne
1. reginathorn
OK, I haven't seen any of these actors in anything so I'm just going off their looks and they seem fine (I assume hair-dye or wigs will take care of the hair colors) if not OMG PERFECT! Ultimately it's going to be how well they act that matters, though I will probably only get to see this movie on DVD in 2020 or something like that :D
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@reginathorn -- I've seen The Last Song (errr...) and The Kids Are All Right (I confess Hutcherson didn't make much of an impression on me) but still need to get my butt in gear and see Winter's Bone. Just based on these pics, though, I'd say the two guys definitely have their roles down--Peeta's already moony and Gale's broody! Katniss looks pretty tough too.

I just wonder if I'm going to care about the triangle in this movie half as much as I once cared about it in the books...and whether Hemsworth's Gale will still have me as Team Gale as I still am for book Gale!
3. Spaz
I think people need to calm the hell down about the casting (I've seen so muuuuuuch whining)! Wait and see how it turns out before the hate, haters! :P Jennifer Lawrence was just nominated for an Oscar and her role in Winter's Bone and was nothing like how she appears everyday, the bish can act :)
4. Taragel
I think Hutcherson looks perfect for Peeta actually (who is not described as traditionally handsome) and he's pretty light-hearted in the script, so I can see that working. Liam...I reserve reservation on. He's handsome. And tall (almost 6'5") if not exactlyhow I envisioned Gale. Anyway, I hope he blows us away. (At least the shirtless scenes will be good. ;) And J. Law will be fine I'm sure. A tiny bit surprised they went with someone who looks older, but hey we know she's got the chops.
5. ksb36
It seems like their parts should be switched to me. I remain unconvinced...
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@Spaz -- I hear JL's Winter's Bone character is a lot like Katniss. Looking forward to seeing the movie!

@Taragel -- Feel the same w/r/t to Liam's casting. I didn't think he was the best actor in Last Song, and he's (sorry, Gale) much more traditionally handsome than I pictured Gale. I dunno, I suppose I thought Peeta the golden boy was supposed to be the cuter one. Maybe I let my impressions of their personalities color the way I thought they looked more than the actual, you know, descriptions of them. Huh. I agree that Hutcherson definitely looks the part. (What a puppy-dog face he has in the picture up there!) Yeah, I'm sure JL will do a good job. Wish they'd cast a wider net, diversity-wise, but that's not her fault.

@ksb36 -- I can kinda see that! But I'm more unconvinced about Hemsworth than about Hutcherson. Guess we'll see how they do...
7. akajill
I loved these books, but I have no intention of seeing the movies. I haven't seen the Harry Potter movies either. In both cases the books are too vivid in my mind and I am completely satisfied with the experience. I see absolutely no need for another version.
Bella Franco
8. BeguileThySorrow
well...I was hopeful with the casting of Jennifer as Katniss b/c her role in Winter's Bone was basically a contemporary Katniss since she played a destitute Appalachian girl who had to deal with a lot to survive. But the 2 boys they cast are NOT at all working for me right now. Josh was just meh in Kids Are Alright, and I didn't care for the other at all. So I don't this point I'm gonna try and not pay attention till the trailers come out.
Heather Waters
9. HeatherWaters
@akajill -- I have a lot of respect for that. So many times I've come away from a book-to-screen adaptation disappointed. I've brought up the Blood and Chocolate movie here at H&H a couple times but it's because that just ruined the book's story. I've never gotten over it! Long story short: Rock on! I wish I had that kind of willpower.

@BeguileThySorrow -- Yeah, I hear her WB character was the perfect prelude to the HG role. Think she could do justice to Katniss. As I said to @Taragel upthread, I'm worried about the boys too, though I'm more worried about Liam Hemsworth's Gale (but of course I'm biased because Gale is my favorite). Have to say I felt the same about Hutcherson's performance in The Kids Are All Right...he didn't make much of an impression on me.

But I guess for now all I can do is have a little faith in both choices and assume that Gary Ross & co. saw something really good--they had a lot of talent to choose from for both characters, after all.
Bridget McAdam
10. BridgetM
Peeta is my favorite of the two "boys" and I was desperately hoping for Hunter Parrish to be cast in this role. Hutcherson just isn't remotely close to my picture of Peeta.
11. Krystyna
hmmm, not how i pictured gale at all...
but makeup, lighting, setting, acting...all can make the world of difference, so i reserve judgement till i've seen the movie.
looking forward to it.
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