To say that director Gary Ross’ (Pleasantville) adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is being followed closely by fans is a bit of an understatement. Absolutely pivotal to the success of the film adaptation is the casting of the series’ lead role of Katniss. When describing what they were looking for in actresses for the role, Ross previously stated that what makes the character attractive is her strength, assuredness, defiance “and ultimately her compassion.”
The powers that be are currently searching for the right actress, and it looks like Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) has landed the role after a lengthy search that included Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. According to Variety, Lionsgate is getting ready to make Lawrence an offer next week. Age appears to have been a deciding factor, as Ross and Lionsgate decided that casting a recognizable male lead in his 20s would be easier than trying to find a teenager to star opposite Steinfeld or Breslin. More after the jump:
Ross recently stated that, even though the source material is rather dark, the films will be rated PG-13. He couldn’t see excluding the audience that has so loved the books and stressed that “this book means too much to too many teenagers.” The Hunger Games, the first film in a series of three, is set to hit theaters on March 23rd, 2012.
Once Lawrence signs a deal, they can begin to cast the role of Peeta, Katniss’ love interest. I’d imagine a lot of young actors are calling their agents tonight.
For those of you completely lost/unaware of the story of The Hunger Games, here’s a synopsis:
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.
Everyone involved is hoping this is the next Twilight. We’ll know in about a year.