Jennifer Lawrence Frontrunner For 'Hunger Games'? Hailee Steinfeld & Abigail Breslin Also In The Mix

by Oliver Lyttelton
March 3, 2011 2:25 AM
7 Comments
  • |

We're getting older, and we're no longer afraid to admit that. However, it does come with certain disadvantages. Our ears have aged to that point that we're now unable to hear Justin Bieber's voice, for instance. We were offered a role in a Neal Moritz-produced remake of "Cocoon" the other day. And, perhaps most importantly for this profession, we can no longer distinguish the various young-adult-novel properties that are vying to replace "Twilight" as the teen-franchise-du-jour.

"Incarceron?" "Mortal Instruments?" The one where Jeff Bridges is going to play a witchfinder? All the same to us. Luckily, the one that we can remember is the one that's getting the most buzz: Lionsgate's Gary Ross-helmed adaptation of "Hunger Games," a dystopian, teen-friendly take on "Battle Royale." Hell, we even threw out some casting suggestions a little while back. With the start-date rapidly approaching, some firm word has now arrived on who might take the series' key role; Katniss Everdeen, the poor sixteen-year-old girl from District 12 who volunteers to compete in the nationally televised gladiatorial fight-to-the-death that the plot revolves around.

Hailee Steinfeld, who's been much-touted for the role since her storming debut in "True Grit," confirmed to MTV on the Oscars' red carpet that she'd met with director Gary Ross about the project, while her fellow Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence is said to be the front-runner for the part by Lainey Gossip. Now, Variety has confirmed that both names are in contention, and have added 14-year-old "Little Miss Sunshine" star Abigail Breslin (herself an Oscar nominee for that film) to the mix.

Significantly, the trade papers, like Lainey Gossip, suggest that Lawrence (who was also linked to the Bridges witch-slayer project, "The Seventh Son") is at the head of the pack, saying that the "Winter's Bone" star has "generated the most interest." However, things are by no means set -- no offers have gone out, and Ross clearly needs to make a decision about the age of his central character -- Lawrence is 20, which would make the violence and sexuality in the book more palatable, for sure, but it also risks robbing the tale of its power. On the other end of the scale, Steinfeld and Breslin are both 14, two years younger than Katniss in the books, and co-stars in that age range are trickier to find.

Ross has to cast the lead first, in order to make the other roles fit, age-wise, but he's doesn't have an infinite amount of time -- the film's set for release next March, and both Steinfeld and Lawrence are likely to be in demand; the former told MTV that "there's a lot of projects that we're looking at at the moment," while Lawrence has been linked to not only "The Seventh Son," but also Oliver Stone's "Savages," plus she presumably has press commitments to fulfill on "X-Men: First Class" in the summer. We'd expect a decision on the casting very soon: "Hunger Games" is set to open just over a year from now, on March 30th, 2012, facing off head-to-head with the sequel to "Clash of the Titans."

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

7 Comments

  • Anonymous | March 20, 2011 11:56 AMReply

    Hailee Steinfeld, in my opinion would be perfect for the role. She has is perfectly capable of acting as Katniss and unless Jennifer dyes her hair and alters her face, and Abigail stops looking so cute and young, Hailee should definetly be Katniss.

  • Sheila | March 3, 2011 7:42 AMReply

    I agree that Breslin and Hailee are too young. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful. I hope they choose her.

  • Anonymous | March 3, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    Actually, Abigail Breslin turns 15 in next month in April...Steinfeld turns 15 in December. So they're ONE year younger than the character.

  • Hannah | March 3, 2011 3:43 AMReply

    Steinfeld and Breslin are too young, and Lawrence is too old, if the actors ar too old it just looks fake (like some of the actors in Glee). Sticking to my guns here, KAYA SCODELARIO IS KATNISS.

  • Jacques DeMolay | March 3, 2011 3:10 AMReply

    The best thing about this trio, is that no matter who lands the part (if it IS one of these three) I will be happy. Abigail Breslin seems to be the weaker of the three in terms of pure acting ability, but this is a teen-novel franchise, so Oscar-worthy performances aren't likely even from the other two. Besides, I'm such a fan of Abigail Breslin, I even watched Kitt Kitridge. Twice.

    Still, Lawrence and Steinfeld both need all the exposure they can get - I will watch (almost) anything they happen to star in.

  • Kim | March 3, 2011 2:47 AMReply

    I like the idea of Steinfeld as Katniss. One big thing in the series that wowed me was the ultra violent war "game" and then you had these kids 17 and under fighting in it. I think Rue was like 11 years old. So one thing the production loses if they go for an older actress (like Lawrence or the gal from "Nikita") is the "they're soooo young and they're fighting" vibe. Maybe in this picture Jennifer Lawrence looks 20, and more self possessed than she was in "Winter's Bone" (which I haven't seen), but I think if anything casting should cast younger than Katniss and the other people's ages to really bring the scariness home.

  • Legger | March 3, 2011 2:13 AMReply

    I'm surprised Breslin is being considered. Cannot picture her as Katniss at all. Prim maybe.

Email Updates