Josh Hutcherson & Liam Hemsworth Nab The Male Leads In ‘The Hunger Games’

Josh = Peeta, Liam = Gale

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 :(

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  1. Haven’t read these books but both actors are YUMMY!!

  2. Brady

    I am so excited for josh to b peeta he is petfect in my mind but liam hemsworth is where my worries lye. Hes to pretty… There was a different cjaracter hed b good for… Finnick!

  3. Jenny

    This casting news is pretty meh, to me. The Gale that lives in my head looks more like an Elf from Lord of the Rings than Liam Hemsworth.

  4. MsKaitlinK

    Josh Hutcherson = FAIL

    I totally agree that it would have been better casting if they reversed the roles. Josh Hutcherson is just weird looking.

  5. krissy

    I haven’t read the books(yet), but I was rooting for Hunter because I think he has really progressed as an actor on Weeds…and he is super cute. ;) However, Josh really impressed me in The Kids Are All Right, so I think it is great that he has this opportunity. It sounds like they are casting based on talent, instead of just look.

  6. Zia

    Actually, I’d rather the roles be reversed and Liam play Peeta and Josh play Gale

    Me too! When I saw that pictures of who was cast I instantly thought that until I read futher.

    • Joan

      For me, not even then, ’cause Gale is the brawnier of the two. Oh well. There’s going to be a lot of tanning and hair coloring going on this set. I hope they fit the molds better after the changes. Still, they are not even close to how I envisioned the characters as I read the series. We’ll see. My hopes are still up because Suzanne Collins herself is the screenwriter. I’m crossing my fingers.

  7. cmc

    Wow…I am holding on to this teeny tiny shred of hope that these movies will be just as excellent as the books, but that dimishes more and more every day. Casting seems off, and they already announced the release date- less than a year from now! What’s the rush??? Wish they’d take their time and deliver a quality movie that does justice to the books, a la Harry Potter. I mean, I’m still going to watch it, but my expectations are pretty damn low and that is a shame.

  8. Justme

    Boo!!! Josh is adorable but that Liam is soooo not at all what I pictured and not by any means attractive. I am so disappointed! May have to skip the movie and re-read the books. :)

  9. Derek

    I am THRILLED with Joshs casting I feel like everyone is getting hung up on their hair color. Joshs personality fits Peeta better. I think Hunter was a little too meth head looking to be Peeta.

    Liams casting is very confusing for me but luckily Gale isnt really that HUGE of a character.

  10. Claire

    I appreciate the fact that appearances do not seem to be the determining factor in casting. It gives me confidence that these were legitimately the best actors for the roles. The most believable and the ones that had the best chemistry with Jennifer. I have faith in the movies. I would have loooved Hunter as Peeta though… >:)

  11. Claire

    Plus, looks are the easiest thing to alter. I’d rather appearances needing to be altered rather than someone’s acting ability.

  12. Dora

    They actually quite seriously look exactly like what I pictured while reading the books – but reversed! Weird.

  13. dustin

    i have to say that Josh (as much as im still iffy on him as an actor, i love the kids are alright but idk i feel like he got carried through that move) but anyway i think that josh is kinda exactly how i pictured peeta, the awkward but strong looking guy and stuff like that and i think liam will be a perfect perfect gale. and is it bad that i kinda want willow smith to play Rue…

  14. Wynter

    SPOILER ALERT

    I’m fine with Josh in Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but Peeta is such a different person in Mockingjay, I don’t know about him for that…

  15. Lori

    *sigh* I wanted Hunter for Peeta as well. He’s what I envisioned as I read the books and so I was not pleased when this was first announced. Now, I’m a bit more comfortable with Josh and Peeta (if it wasn’t Hunter then I’m glad its him), but Liam? No x100. I was thinking more of a universally good looking guy for Gale (since the book describes him as such) and I’m not attracted to Liam so…it kind of ruins it for me ngl. Whatever. I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

  16. Maddie

    I totally Agree! I thought they would have been reversed as well. I guess we will see! I am so excited!!

  17. Anna

    I really wanted Hunter Parrish for the role of Peeta also. I also wanted Drew Roy as Gale. But i guess my dreams wont come true… :,( These guys are nothing as I thought up when i read the book a bunch of times.

  18. sarah

    JOSH HUTCHERSON IS SOOOOOOOOOOOO HOT!!!!!!!!

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