By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 4, 2011 at 5:27AM
- UPDATE: The Hunger Games's Jennifer Lawrence now has two male co-stars: Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson have just been cast as characters Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark, respectively. The former is Katniss Everdeen's (Lawrence) hunting partner and the latter is her competitor in the fight-to-the-death televised competition. Hemsworth and Hutcherson were included in THR's March 25 short list of actors being considered. Hutcherson was also on Moviefone's March 8 list of Five Actors Better Than Alex Pettyfer for the Lionsgate franchise. The film adaptation of Suzanne Collins's novels is slated to start shooting with director Gary Ross in late May. Whoever lands these coveted roles will play second fiddle to Lawrence; here are more details on her character.
- Writer-director Tony Gilroy's Bourne franchise continuation, sans Matt Damon, will be landing a new lead shortly, and while Jeremy Renner is rumored to be the man of the hour, ThePlaylist warns not so fast. Luke Evans says he's met with Gilroy and says "he's fantastic…The script that I’ve been given, I’ve not been allowed to read the whole script, no one’s allowed to read the whole script, but the script that I’ve been given is great. It’s so well done. It just rolls off the tongue. It’s just nice to be in good company, there’s four of us left.” Deadline says Animal Kingdom's Joel Edgerton, Dominic Cooper and Garett Hedlund are the other three and Oscar Isaac is also among the director's favorites. Of his potential character, Evans tells ThePlaylist: “It’s a big deal, it’s a fantastic role that’s been portrayed three times very very successfully. I love the ‘Bourne’ films and I love what Matt did in them. It’s just hard to push that out and think this is a new character; it’s not Jason Bourne.” Evans has The Three Musketeers (October) and Tarsem Singh's Immortals (November) coming out; we interviewed him for Tamara Drewe. It's a matter of time before he breaks out, with or without Bourne. As for Renner, the Mission: Impossible franchise may have to be enough.
Last October, when Gilroy confirmed the Bourne franchise would move ahead without Damon, he clarified: “This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one’s replacing Matt Damon…There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter…this is a stand-alone project” that happens to be using the title of Robert Ludlum’s book, “but will not use the story." He also explained how his project diverges from Robert Ludlam's fourth book, and hinted at Damon's Jason Bourne character returning for a later installment. A few weeks after this news broke, Damon gave his two cents on the franchise, which he refused to continue without The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass, whose his MLK Jr. biopic Memphis has been dropped by Universal/Focus Features. Greengrass's other project in development, also at Universal, is a Vietnam war drama The Marched into Sunlight based on David Maraniss's book.
About The Hunger Games Characters:
Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.
Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.