Casting The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite YA trilogies and can be summed up simply as Beyond Thunder-dome crossed with Reality TV. 24 teens enter, only one leaves.

It takes place in a post-apocalyptic society, in which the United States (Panem) has been carved into twelve districts, from which two teens are randomly selected to compete every year in Gladiator style games. This is to keep the population docile and cowed to the government located in Capital City. The main protagonist is a female named Katniss, who by her act of volunteering in place of her younger sister, unwittingly sparks a revolution throughout the nation.

It’s written by Suzanne Collins – a YA literature author and television scribe.

PLEASE check this series out. It’s a swift, captivating read and because of the hack/slashing and violence, isn’t primarily the providence of womenz like Twilight. Though, I’ve been hard pressed to get any dudes in my vicinity to read it. *sigh* Katniss is an intriguing heroine along the veins of “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.” She’s highly independent, skilled in a particular area, and for the most part emotionally and socially stunted. She has difficulty navigating many of her relationships and spends much of the series shying away from romantic entanglements.

As with any good book series lately – there is already a movie production in the works. It’s being penned by Billy Ray and directed by Gary Ross – two people that haven’t shown remarkable grasp of this particular type of material in any of the films they’ve done. Hmph. With luke-warm director/writers attached and the entire fandom of the franchise to please – the potential of this movie to suck or not suck lies very heavily now on the casting.

I’ve been inspired by my buddy Savanna, who has already co-written a series of casting articles for The Hunger Games film on Picktainment. Check them out here! And because…after participating in a monthly book-to-adaptation club for the last year, my mind automatically turns to “who would play the best ______________ in the movie?”

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KATNISS EVERDEEN

*APPARENTLY JENNIFER LAWRENCE HAS BEEN CONFIRMED AS KATNISS EVERDEEN*

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Big frowny face here.

Malese Jow, who played Anna on Vampire Diaries before she *SPOILER ALERT* meets an untimely demise. I’m still pissed about that one. She played mysterious, tough and fiery quite well, which would be perfect for the Katniss role. She’s also tossed a few humans and the odd vampire around in her day, so the violence in the movie wouldn’t phase her at all. Her dark hair and eyes, as well as darker skin tone match most closely with the book character description.

Malese Jow

BONUS: She can sing, which is an important part of the Katniss/Rue relationship in the books. Check out her Vampire Diaries reel.

The likelihood of them casting someone with obvious mixed-ethnicity is pretty slim (to none) but in my mind she could convincingly play the part. And isn’t it time Hollywood started Race-bending in FAVOR of non-white people? Just a thought.

A strong runner up and looking like the younger sister of Malese is Jodelle Ferland – of Bree Tanner fame. Sure, she has the stink of Twilight all over her, but she also has the dark haunting look that defines Katniss to me. Although – her skin tone flies in the face of everything that has been used to describe Katniss, she is not “olive-skinned” in the slightest. She has been in a slew of horror movies and there’s no doubt she can intimidate and frighten. But it remains to be seen if she has the proper amount of tough that Katniss embodies.

Jodelle Ferland dressed as Katniss

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PEETA MELLARK

Chris Massoglia is another vampire franchise alumn, this time from The Vampire’s Assistant, but a bit closer to what I imagined when reading the book. He has a warm, open face and from the only role I’ve seen him in, could play Peeta with sensitivity and humor. I never pictured him as drop-dead gorgeous or sauve, and this kid positively reeks of bumbling dude next door. Dye his hair and you’ve got yer Peeta Mellark right here.

Chris Massoglia

At 20 years old, he’s just about the right age as well. Some of the choices I’ve seen cropping up around the internets are almost freaking 30. Ugh. I get why they would avoid using someone who was actually 16 (tough to work around child labor laws, etc) but the believability and tension in the Games is in how young the characters are. They need a certain amount of youth and innocence which I think Massoglia naturally exudes. He’s a far better actor than the likely pick of Alex Pettyfer, who was quite dull in I Am Number Four. Here’s another pic if the first didn’t convince you.

Chris Massoglia again

Another actor who wouldn’t bother me TOO MUCH is Lucas Till, he’s playing Havok in the upcoming X-Men: First Class film. He has the clean cut, All-American blonde hair, blue eyes preppy boy with a popped color who wooed Hannah Montana schtick down pretty solid. Apparently he was in Battle: Los Angeles, but I don’t recall seeing him. Damn, judging from his picture he could easily play a young Aaron Eckhart. It’s really hard to get past all the pictures of him canoodling with Miley Cyrus and sporting Justin Bieber hair though. *shudder*

Lucas Till

Also – Logan Lerman seems to be popular with the young ladiez and has the right look – just a few streaks of blonde added to his mane and he could pull it off. He’s held his own against pretty impressive ensemble casts featuring Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Sean Bean, Rosario Dawson, and Uma Thurman to name a few. Big names like that and he still manages to be memorable in those films. Again – he’s boyishly cute but not drop dead gorgeous. Which means, just right.

Logan Lerman

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GALE HAWTHORNE

The actor I would REALLY LOVE to see in this role is Luke Pasqualino – who I anticipate seeing in the BSG: Blood and Chrome series coming out in the next year. If he’s good enough to play Adama, he’s good enough for Gale Hawthorne. Also, he was in the UK Skins series, which has had rave reviews all around. From the picture below, he’s got the starving look down, which is part of the District 12 experience.

Luke Pasqualino

The second runner-up is Asher Book who I’ve seen in the Fame movie remake. Yes, I watched that. No, I’m not proud. He can act, sing and dance but he only needs ONE of those skills in order to carry off the role.

Asher Book

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HAYMITCH ABERNATHY

Hands down Christopher Eccleston – from the first year of the new Doctor Who series and the evil Major in 28 Days Later. He is absolutely captivating on-screen and could carry the humor, addiction and cantankerous elements that mingle within Haymitch. He is a bit tall and gangly, but adding some pounds and facial hair could mask the lanky limbs.

Christopher Eccleston

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PRIMROSE EVERDEEN

Elle Fanningthe younger sister of Dakota is the child actor dujour in Hollywood at the moment and the role of Prim seems custom built for her. Blonde hair, blue eyes and that innocent baby sheen that will wear off in about two more years when she hits puberty and starts to get awkward. I predict braces and pimples.

Elle Fanning

Chloe Moretz is my top pick for everything but I feel like she’s too bad ass to effectively carry off Prim. At any moment I would expect her to start ninja kicking or sucking someone’s blood. If she were just a wee bit older and had a darker complexion, I would choose her for Katniss. Damn, damn double damn.

Chloe Moretz

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EFFIE TRINKET

Judging from her role as Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter, Miranda Richardson gets my vote. She’s exactly the person I imagined in my head. Down to the exact outfits.

Miranda Richardson

But I also agree with the folks over at Picktainment that Kristin Chenoweth would be equally as good, though she might have to dial down her larger than life persona just a tad for Effie, who is over-bearing but not over-the-top. Really though, I”d be happy with either.

Kristin Chenoweth

If you want to see Kristin Chenoweth in this role – like this Facebook page and hopefully it will go viral: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristin-Chenoweth-for-Effie-Trinket/161046423906398

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PRESIDENT SNOW

He’s another character I don’t have strong feelings about one way or another, but I started pondering over older dudes with white hair, and Lucius Malfoy came to mind – otherwise known as Jason Isaacs. He already looks pretty vicious in the white wig and has enough sneaky evil magnetism to make President Snow come alive on-screen. He’s perhaps a bit younger than Snow in the book, but his face could be doctored and made to look slightly older. Those ice blue eyes and that set jaw – very scary. Very Snow.

Jason Isaacs

Basically, it’s either him or Daniel Craig. And I don’t think they could afford Craig. ****************************************************************************************

CINNA

Neil Patrick Harris. Sure, he’s a bit older than Cinna is described in the books, but I love NPH. And he’s got such a sweet lil’ baby face this dude will be passing for 23 until he’s 55. Seriously, he’s approaching 40 and I am totally floored by that fact. His track record proves he can mesh easily in an ensemble cast and aside from some solid TV work, his movie roles have been spotty. Give this dude a shot!

Neil Patrick Harris

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RUE

I’m going to have faith that Hollywood can get the casting right on this one and NOT overlook Rue’s ethnicity in favor of an equally adorable white child. I am in favor of Willow Smith just cause she’s too damn cute for words and I still get that “Whip My Hair” song stuck in my head.

Willow Smith

It remains to be seen whether or not they could afford her, however. I suppose this could be the spring board to her own film, but it didn’t take Jaden too long to land his own starring vehicle, so it remains to be seen how many roles Willow can fill before she starts demanding tons of cash. Not as if this family needs it. But the Smiths can’t help that their children are as adorable as they are.

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These are just my thoughts though – I’m curious to know who all of you have cast in your minds in these particular roles. Do we share any similarities? Differences? Let me know!

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

17 responses to “Casting The Hunger Games”

  1. Jen says :

    I read that Jennifer Lawrence is in hot contention for Katniss. I really feel like they should go for people who are less well known, though. That’s always my opinion on young adult franchises, really.

    • tinyheroes says :

      Not to mention Jennifer Lawrence is not how I pictured Katniss at all. I haven’t seen all of Winter’s Bone yet…but I saw a few clips and there’s no doubt that she’s tough. But really – blonde hair and blue eyes? They already ruined The Last Airbender with terrible casting, and I’ll be pretty bummed if THG gets the same treatment.

      I agree with using less well-known actors and actresses. They are going to be signing up for a trilogy of films (we hope!) and that could get expensive very quickly with a superstar cast. I’ve seen some folks pushing RDJ as Haymitch. That guy pulls in a small fortune for his roles lately!

      • Jen says :

        Yeah and I feel like most of the YA franchises that have been successful (Harry Potter, Twilight) have used lesser known actors. Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson both had acted before, obviously, but they weren’t household names by any means.

        And seriously, whenever they try to change the characters in some way, it just never works out well. Last Airbender & Percy Jackson are two that come immediately to mind. I’m sure there are more, but they were so apparently forgettable that I have forgotten them!

  2. erninlow says :

    I like the idea of Malese Jow. I loved her on Vampire Diaries and she would make a good Katniss. Regarding the above comment about Jennifer Lawrence, there are rumors she is going to be offered the part. She will not do! She has blond hair and light skin. Why can’t movies ever just cast someone the way that the books describe the person. It is stupid! alex Pettyfer is unfortunately a contender for Peeta. I love this series, but I am scared for the movies.

    • tinyheroes says :

      I echo the “scared.” I kinda went with who would be my dream cast vs who will actually get the parts. Alex Pettyfer cannot act! Gah! Interested to know who some of your picks are for the cast…

      • Jen says :

        I always *want* Pettyfer to be good, and then he’s not. He has like one moment in each movie that is decent. And even though he’s naturally blonde, he seems more like a Gale to me than a Peeta anyway.

        • tinyheroes says :

          You are so right about the one good moment in each film. He and Liam Hemsworth are just eye candy with no real substance. Peeta carries the soul of the book and it would be so depressing if that soul was as empty as Pettyfer or Liam. 😦

      • erninlow says :

        found this link, it is interesting.

        http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20419951_20432044,00.html

        I like their choice of Ben Barnes for Gale or if Alex Pettyfer has to be in the movie then I would rather see him as Gale. I would like to see Chloe Moretz or Elle Fanning as Prim. I have also read that Josh Hutcherson is in talks for Peeta and I like this idea. He was in Kids are Alright and was pretty decent. Kristin Chenoweth would be perfect as Effie. I just want them to announce it so we can figure out if this is going to be a good movie.

        • tinyheroes says :

          The anticipation is pretty awful.

          Ugh – Lyndsey Fonseca seems skeezy to me. That sounds horrible….but true!

          Ben Barnes – I could see that. He seems broody and intense – those dark eyes, almost black! He played a similar role as Prince Caspian, but after doing an IMDB search, he’s older than I am! Plus he’s already had a chance at a franchise. I want some fresh meat on the screen! 😉

          I like most of their picks for other roles…but as people have mentioned here, it would be better to go with lesser-known actors to sell a franchise. 🙂

  3. Savanna New says :

    Okay, first of all, I am TOTALLY in agreement with you on the whole Peeta age thing. I just read yet another article about Hunter Parrish meeting with producers/the director/someone involved with the film. As much as I adore him, he’s just too old. 😦 He doesn’t even look 19, let alone 16.

    I love your suggestion of Chris Massoglia. I haven’t seen him in anything, but he looks like he’d be a great Peeta. Also, what do you think about Jeremy Sumpter? I was rewatching Peter Pan the other day (he plays Peter) and randomly decided to Google him to see what he looks like now, and WOAH! The most perfect Peeta, appearance-wise, I think I’ve seen… (Look for recent photos of him.)

    I love Skins and Luke Pasqualino, but for some reason I never considered him as a Gale possibility, but he’d be great! (Off-topic: I am so, so, so excited for Blood & Chrome!)

    I’m torn on Willow Smith. We included her in our piece on Rue (which will be up Thursday or Friday), but I really have no idea whether or not she could pull off the role. I hope she’s at least given a shot at it. I, too, will be annoyed if they don’t take Rue’s ethnicity into account.

    Regarding Neil Patrick Harris — what do you think about him as a potential Caeser Flickerman?

    • tinyheroes says :

      Firstly – Jeremy Sumpter would make a great Peeta. He has the shaggy hair and good looks. You can picture him lugging around sacks of flour and gazing longingly at Katniss. WIN!

      Hunter Parrish – his face is just too girly. I hate to say it, but Peeta walks that fine line between masculine and feminine and with softer features it could just rub the audience the wrong way.

      Luke Pasqualino could really pull the brooding and bitterness out of Peeta. BLOOD AND CHROME all the way! In a way I don’t want him to get it, because what if he becomes RPattz type famous and decides to ditch the BSG series entirely? *sad clown face*

      Asher Book looks the part (especially with tasty facial hair), but I think he’s a tad bit too smiley.

      As for Rue – I saw a push for the little girl who played the youngest Latika on Slumdog Millionaire, and that would be acceptable (cute as a button and obviously can act). I fear that if Katniss ends up a blonde/blue eye….no one in the cast is safe. 😦

      NPH as Caeser…I could see that as well. He needs to be involved somehow!

      Are you guys publishing a Cinna casting? I’m curious to know who you’ve pegged! 😀

  4. Kris says :

    Located your website through Bing. You already know I am subscribing to your feed.

  5. Penny says :

    Hello no that will not do I like the people and did you know that they all dyed their hair it doesn’t matter they are amazing actors

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