Last month we learned that actress Jennifer Lawrence won the coveted role of Katniss Everdeen in the big screen adaptation of The Hunger Games and it was widely rumored that Weeds star Hunter Parrish would get the male lead role as Peeta Mellark. Today we learn that Hunter did NOT get the role (boo!) because Josh Hutcherson (The Kids are Alright) has been cast as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song) has been cast as Gale Hawthorne.
Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have joined the cast of Hunger Games in the roles of Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively, Lionsgate announced today in a release. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who will play Katniss Everdeen, the heroine who volunteers to represent her remote district in the brutal annual survival test. Hutcherson, for one, has long thought he was right for the part … The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy, will be directed by Gary Ross and released by Lionsgate on March 23, 2012.
Blah! I had my heart SO SET on Hunter as Peeta that this news is actually a big bum out for me. Nothing against Josh, he was really fantastic in The Kids are Alright, but he is not what I envision Peeta to look like. Actually, I’d rather the roles be reversed and Liam play Peeta and Josh play Gale. Blargh! But, it’s done … the roles have been cast and there is no turning back. I am SO in love with The Hunger Games trilogy so I am very much looking forward to the movie adaptations. I pray they get it right. Thankfully, because I started reading the books before the casting was announced, the characters live in my mind NOT as these actors … which I think is a good thing. I’m curious about the casting of the other characters but … boo … I’m bummed that Hunter won’t be in the films :(