The folks over at Lionsgate are really picking up the pace casting The Hunger Games. Not only has the studio revealed the actor playing the lead role of Peeta Mellark, but that of Gale Hawthorne, too. Starring as Katniss Everdeen’s Hunger Games co-District 12 tribute is none other than wannabe Spider-Man, Josh Hutcherson. In the role of Gale, the other man in Katniss’ life, will be Thor’s little brother, Liam Hemsworth.

At this point there’s really no excuse for not having read Suzanne Collins’ book, let alone all three of the series, but in case you’re lagging behind, here are the basics. Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year-old citizen of District 12, one of 12 districts of the country of Panem. Once a year, every district is forced to select two kids between the ages of 12 and 18 to send to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death. This year it’s Katniss and Peeta’s turn. As Katniss prepares to fight for her life, she’s forced to leave behind her mother, younger sister, Prim, and her hunting partner and best friend, Gale. No, the love triangle isn’t in full effect at the book’s start, but as the situation progresses and intensifies, feelings certainly start to emerge.

Now onto the good stuff; how do we feel about the casting choices? Well, Hemsworth is almost a nonissue at this point in the game. Unless there have been some major changes made to the story, he doesn’t do very much in the first book, or even in the second for that matter. While I’m not thrilled with his casting having never seen him put on an adequate performance, it’s easy to let this slide for the time being. Then again, of course it will be back to haunt us, but hopefully the young actor will have learned a thing or two by then.

In terms of Hutcherson, he was one of my top choices for the role of Peeta from the very start. When Lawrence secured the lead role of Katniss, I started to lean towards Hunter Parrish for the part based on looks alone, but Hutcherson still had my vote in terms of talent. The kid deserves more than the Journey to the Center of the Earth franchise. There’s no doubt Hutcherson can make a great Peeta; let’s just hope the fact that he’s the same height as Lawrence and we’ve never seen him donning blond locks won’t spoil the image.

We may have our three leads locked, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more Hunger Games casting news to keep an eye out for. We’ve still got a slew of key roles to fill. There’s that of Katniss’ sister Prim, her Hunger Games pal Rue, her stylist Cinna, President Snow and much more. We’ll certainly keep you updated on the latest!

By Perri Nemiroff (via Latino Review)

Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

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By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as CinemaBlend.com, ComingSoon.net, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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