Fans of The Hunger Games are going cuckoo at the news that Lionsgate Studios and director Gary Ross have cast Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) as the badass babe from District 12, Katniss Everdeen. Now, when contacted by MTV News, Lionsgate denied no such offers have been made to Ms. Lawrence, but sources say the news is reliable and the 20 year-old actress, soon to be seen as Mystique in X-Men: First Class, is the exact mix of beauty and tenacity the movie is looking for. While True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld and a few other actresses (possibly Abigail Breslin) were considered, one of the big factors in the decision to cast Lawrence was her age. Apparently 14, the age of Steinfeld and Breslin, was considered too young. Casting a 20 year-old helps the filmmakers widen their search for Peeta and Gale, two huge parts that will need careful casting.
The Hunger Games comes to theaters on March 23, 2012 and is supposed to start shooting this spring. The book has been adapted to the screen by its author, Suzanne Collins, and screenwriter Billy Ray. With production soon to begin, these casting rumors are starting to feel more legitimate and, even if they are proven wrong, one thing is certain – we should know who will be playing the main characters rather soon. As for Lawrence, I like the pick and I think she’ll work nicely. Anyone who has seen Winter’s Bone (also distributed by Lionsgate) knows Lawrence can act and has a bright, shiny future in Hollywood.
For more on Lawrence, check out the trailer for Winter’s Bone, now available on Blu-ray and DVD, after the jump.