Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth Join THE HUNGER GAMES

     April 4, 2011


Last Friday, we reported that Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) and Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song) were the frontrunners to play Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively, in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games.  Lionsgate has now sent out a press release confirming that the actors have joined the film and will play their respective roles as the love-interest and hunting partner of protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).

Hit the jump to check out the press release.  I haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet so I expect fans to sound off in the comments section to tell me whether or not this is good casting.  The Hunger Games is set to be released on March 23, 2012.

the-hunger-gamesHere’s the press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 4, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that actor Josh Hutcherson (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) has been cast in the role of Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth (THE LAST SONG) joining the film in the role of Gale Hawthorne in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who it was recently announced will play heroine Katniss Everdeen.

About The Characters

Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.

Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.

About The Film

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.

“The Hunger Games” chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event. Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home. The Hunger Games novel has been on the New York Times best seller list for over 100 consecutive weeks. Foreign rights for the book, published by Scholastic have been sold in 41 countries.

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

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  • senora

    Hutcherson is a terrible choice. Parrish would have been the perfect Peeta. Peeta needs to be instantly likeable, with the-boy-next-door charm and likeability. Hutcherson will not look good alongside Jennifer Lawrence. This casting is sure to doom this movie.

  • ggpthg

    I don’t know about Parrish (his acting in Weeds is just ok) but as a fan of the book, I do feel that Hutcherson is the wrong choice to play Peeta.

  • Jessica

    I think they went with Hutcherson because he has a slightly fragile look to him. Peeta is in the upper class, so he needs to look as though he’s never suffered much, at least in the beginning of the books. Also, his character spends most of his time being wounded/tortured by his feelings for Katniss, so I’m guessing that’s where his wounded puppy look will come in. I’m not saying he was a great choice, but judging from his pic, I can kind of see why he was cast.
    Peeta’s hair is blond in the book though, so Hutcherson as blonde might be a little on the Ken doll side… Nothing to do but wait and see, I guess.

    Hemsworth is perfect.

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  • Kylei

    Are you people crazy?? Josh Hutcherson is PERFECT for this roll! I personally this that Liam is the wrong choice. In EW Susanne Collins said that if Josh was bright purple with wings and gave the audition he did they still would have casted him.

  • Sarah

    I haven’t seen much of either of these actors, except for an old movie of Josh Hutcherson’s from when he was a kid (Miracle Dogs). But I LOVED him in that, so I’m a little prejudiced. I think Josh is an excellent choice for Peeta. I can definitely see him in the role. I feel that Liam would also have been a good choice for Peeta, but he’s great where he is too. I like most of the choices for the movie, though I was a bit skeptical of Jennifer Lawrence until I saw her with brown hair. My friend says she doesn’t like that Josh looks younger than Jennifer, but that can easily be fixed with makeup if they feel the need to change that. Basically, I LOVE the books so I’m quite certain I will love the movies. If they don’t change them too much.

  • Anonymous

    I think Josh is a pretty good choice in terms of Peet. But I don’t think Liam is the best choice for Gale, he doesn’t have the warriror type feel you would expect for his character.

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  • Kayla

    You people are crazy Josh Hutcherson is a perfect choice because the desrciption of Peeta in the book is: “Medium height, stocky build, ashy blonde hair that falls in waves over his forehead” now Josh fits the first two because no offense Josh but your not the tallest! Dosen’t matter though because I love the Hutcherson boys(Josh and his little bro Connor) and Peeta!

  • Ilana

    Whaaaat? how can you say that Hutcherson fits the role ? he is nothing like the peeta from the book, except he’s blond. Because peeta shows his weakness since the beginning but he is still a strong character who’s able to protect katniss , and when i see josh i can’t feel that way , he looks like a lost puppy all along… Maybe if the role has been inverted and Hutcherson would have been Gale and Hemsworth peeta.. But i think that the guy who played Cato could have been a good choice for Gale.