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UPDATED: Is THE HUNGER GAMES getting any closer to casting its male leads?

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
April 4th, 2011

UPDATE: Lionsgate has now released an official press release, announcing the casting of both Hutcherson and Hemsworth in the roles of Peeta and Gale, respectively. You can read it over on Deadline.

(Original post published on April 1, 2011.)

Short answer: probably!

You may have noticed that it's April Fools Day. You may have also noticed a startling lack of news on the movie front - probably because everyone is too afraid to post something that's not true or too busy purposely pranking its readership (in terms of purposeful pranking, there is really only one site worth its salt when it comes to April Fools Day - if you haven't checked out Film School Rejects today, you really have not witnessed a truly good prank). So what does a slow news day mean? Casting news speculation!

Today's addition - THE HUNGER GAMES. While the production recently cast its lead in Jennifer Lawrence, the two male leads have been locked in a back-and-forth battle of "wish lists," "short lists," fan-casting, and just plain speculation for months now. But with a release date of of March 23, 2012 looming, Lionsgate and director Gary Ross really need to get cracking on that casting. Today, Deadline reports that the HUNGER GAMES team has two "frontrunners" the roles of Gale and Peeta. The report tells us that Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson are those chosen frontrunners, though no offers have been made and "nothing is definitive."

As a very, very new fan of The Hunger Games, I've already marveled at the fierce loyalty lines drawn between fans. It's TWILIGHT all over again, just replace "Team Edward / Team Jacob" with "Team Peeta / Team Gale," and we're back in business. And anyone who followed the casting of THE TWILIGHT SAGA knows how important it is to the fans that casting is done well and correctly.

Having picked up the books after the film was announced has afforded me a small luxury - the ability to read them with certain "shortlisted" actors imagined in the roles. I'm no great shakes at fan-casting, so having some set perimeters is a good thing for me. Which is all a long way of saying - I've pictured Hutcherson as Peeta all along. There is no other Peeta for me. Hemsworth is a fine choice for Gale - but I am, ahem, Team Peeta.

For those unfamiliar with the male leads in THE HUNGER GAMES, Peeta Mellark is sort of the male equivalent of Katniss Everdeen - he is the male "tribute" picked from their home district to compete in the games. Peeta is bold and smart and strong - but he's also very kind. Gale Hawthorne is Katniss' best friend (and hunting partner), and he is also bold and smart and strong - but with a violent streak not seen in Peeta.

HUNGER GAMES fans, I know you've been speculating about this casting for months now - so how would you feel about Hutcherson and Hemsworth in these apparent roles?

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  • nickyrocks101

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

    I’m starting to hate that this film is coming out. And I rarely use the word hate.

    • https://gordonandthewhale.com KateErbland

      Who are your picks for casting? Like, if you could pick ANYONE, who would you like to see as Peeta or Gale? And what do you think of Jennifer Lawrence?

  • https://gordonandthewhale.com KateErbland

    Who are your picks for casting? Like, if you could pick ANYONE, who would you like to see as Peeta or Gale? And what do you think of Jennifer Lawrence?

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