The process of casting Katniss Everdeen in Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games was quite a long one, with pretty much every young actress vying for the role. Last week Winter’s Bone and X-Men: First Class actress Jennifer Lawrence was officially cast, and now author Suzanne Collins (who wrote the first draft of the script herself) sent out a letter to fans giving her thoughts.
We have found Katniss.
As the author, I went into the casting process with a certain degree of trepidation. Believing your heroine can make the leap from the relative safety of the page to the flesh and bones reality of the screen is something of a creative act of faith. But after watching dozens of auditions by a group of very fine young actresses, I felt there was only one who truly captured the character I wrote in the book. And I’m thrilled to say that Jennifer Lawrence has accepted the role.
In her remarkable audition piece, I watched Jennifer embody every essential quality necessary to play Katniss. I saw a girl who has the potential rage to send an arrow into the Gamemakers and the protectiveness to make Rue her ally. Who has conquered both Peeta and Gale’s hearts even though she’s done her best to wall herself off emotionally from anything that would lead to romance. Most of all, I believed that this was a girl who could hold out that handful of berries and incite the beaten down districts of Panem to rebel. I think that was the essential question for me. Could she believably inspire a rebellion? Did she project the strength, defiance and intellect you would need to follow her into certain war? For me, she did.
Jennifer’s just an incredible actress. So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave. I never thought we’d find somebody this amazing for the role. And I can’t wait for everyone to see her play it.
Thank you all for sharing in this journey and may the odds be ever in your favor!
Set in post-apocalyptic America the movie will follow Katniss Everdeen who must participate in a fight-to-the-death annual event called the Hunger Games. The battles are televised, and pit youths from each of the Capitol’s 12 Districts against each other. The studio plans to turn the book series into a trilogy, so after The Hunger Games we may see Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) is directing, and Lionsgate have set a March 23, 2012 release date, with production beginning next month.