Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss in 'The Hunger Games'

Thursday, 17 March 2011 09:17 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss in 'The Hunger Games'

Since even before Gary Ross signed on to direct an adaptation of Suzanne Collins' phenomenally popular young adult novel 'The Hunger Games', fan speculation as to who should play the protagonist has been rampant, to say the very least.  The role of Katniss Everdeen in the first film of a planned trilogy has been frequently discussed and much sought after by seemingly every young actresses in the applicable age range.  Now, The Wrap reports that Jennifer Lawrence, who earned an Oscar nomination for the lead role in last year's Winter's Bone, will play Katniss in The Hunger Games.

Lawrence emerged as the front runner last week, with many outlets reporting that she would most definitely be offered the role this week.  Apparently, negotiations were completed on Wednesday.  Presumably, Lawrence has committed to starring in three films, as the first novel is followed by the equally popular sequels 'Catching Fire' and 'Mockingjay'.

'The Hunger Games' takes places in a dystopian future America, where 24 young people are forced to participate in an annual, televised gladiatorial competition.  When her younger sister is selected for the titular Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to compete in her place.  In the novel, Katniss is 16 years old, and Lawrence is 20, so it looks like Gary Ross will be aging the character up slightly. This means that the male lead, Katniss' gladiatorial partner Peeta, will have to be cast accordingly.  So far, Josh Hutcherson from The Kids Are All Right, Alex Pettyfer from I Am Number Four, and Hunter Parrish of the Showtime series 'Weeds', have all been mentioned as possible Peetas.

Among the other actresses reportedly in contention for the role of Katniss were Chloe Grace Moretz, Emily Browning, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, and Hailee Steinfeld.  Both Breslin and Steinfeld are also past Oscar nominees, for Little Miss Sunshine and True Grit, respectively.

Gary Ross, who also directed Pleasantville and Seabiscuit, is directing from a screenplay by Billy Ray, who wrote and directed Shattered Glass and Breach.  It's unknown whether the director and screenwriter are already committed to potential sequels.  It's highly unlikely, however, that LionsGate would sign Jennifer Lawrence to only the first entry in what is almost guaranteed to be a big franchise for the studio.  Lawrence has been quite busy as of late.  She plays alongside Anton Yelchin in the upcoming Like Crazy and The Beaver, and she recently finished work on prequel X-Men: First Class, in which she portrays shape-shifting mutant Mystique.

So, do you think that Jennifer Lawrence is the right choice to play Katniss in The Hunger Games?

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