With just over a year to go before The Hunger Games is set to hit screens on March 23, 2012 Lionsgate and director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) are on the hunt for a young actress to lead the film, and possibly a new franchise.
Set in post-apocalyptic America the movie, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, follows 16-year-old 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.
At the Oscars True Grit actress and Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld confirmed to MTV that she had met with Ross and said “it’s definitely something we’re taking one day at a time and making sure everything is in place, everything’s ready.” However, according to Lainey Gossip Winter’s Bone and X-Men: First Class actress Jennifer Lawrence recently read for the role and “blew them away”.
Sources confirmed to me exclusively that [Lawrence] read for it and they loved her. So much. Like no one else they’ve seen has even come close to what she delivered. The way it was described to me: ‘Jennifer really went for it and she blew them away.’ I’m told a deal is being hammered out right now. And they’re almost there. Some details still need to be finalized, and anything can happen where negotiations are concerned, but they’re close. Lionsgate apparently really wants her.
As both have Oscar nominations there are no questions about their acting abilities, but both have their pros and cons. Being only 14 years old Hailee Steinfeld is closest to the age Katniss Everdeen is in the book, and if more films follow she could easily grow into the role.
Jennifer Lawrence on the other hand is 20, and therefore no longer a teenager, but Lawrence is more likely to attract the 16-24 male demographic which Lionsgate will obviously want. Young guys won’t pay to see a movie about a 16 year old girl, but if she’s 20 and hot they’ll be there opening night.
What do fans of the book think about these possible choices? Or would you prefer it if they went with an unknown?