Armchair Mogul
The (backseat) driving force behind Hollywood. Way behind.

ARMCHAIR CASTS: THE HUNGER GAMES


The Hunger Games Movie Cast

Alright, I caved.

Recently, I flew through all three books of the Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic smash hit The Hunger Games. I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and I was so pleasantly surprised by them. It was a fantastic story and I recommend it to all the Moguls out there who like to read! Go read it…like, now! (Well, after you read this article.)

When I heard that Hollywood is on the prowl to cast the movie trilogy, I thought I would throw my extremely important 2 cents into the pot, thus guaranteeing  it to be cast correctly.

Are you listening Hollywood? I’m handing you a hit movie on a silver platter! Don’t mess this up!

Below are my picks for The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen Cast for Movie

Katniss Everdeen – played by Lyndsy Fonseca.

Without a doubt, 100%, Nikita’s Lyndsy Fonseca. Before I even thought of the possibility of a movie, I had her in my mind while reading the book. She matches the character to a ‘T.’ She may be a year or two (or three) older than Katniss in the book, but you are going to be hard pressed for actors that are 15 or 16 that can carry the emotional weight of starvation, brutal violence and revolution in this film. Hollywood can’t get away with making this movie a CW Gossip Girl-type show. People are having their skulls bashed in with rocks. It’s a dark and violent book. There have been recent rumors of True Grit’s Hallee Steinfed, and Winter’s Bone’s Jennifer Lawrence as well, which would be fine …I guess. But I’m standing firm with my pick of Lyndsy Fonseca.

Peeta Mellark Cast for Movie

Peeta Mellark – played by Liam Hemsworth

Peeta’s role is one of the most important in the series. He’s described as “medium height, stocky build, blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead.”  There have been many casting rumors going around for Peeta, like Lucas Till and a few other young handsome types. The problem is, what most of them are lacking is the character himself. Peeta needs to be a little stockier, one of the nicest young men on the planet and when he holds Katniss she needs to feel safe. He also has to have an incredible way with words, someone who will make EVERYONE listen. A lot of the casting rumors have pointed toward skinny heartthrobs that jsut don’t seem like they could command anything. My vote is with Australian actor Liam Hemsworth for his looks, his heft and his chops.

 Prim Everdeen Cast for Movie

Primrose “Prim” – Katniss’ beautiful young sister – played by Elle Fanning.

Prim is described as “very pretty and is as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named.” Like her sisters, Elle’s already a star with roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the soon to be released Super 8. She fits Prim PERFECTLY.

Gale Hawthrone Cast for Movie

Gale Hawthorne – Katniss’ friend/cousin – played by Adam Gregory

Gale is supposed to be Katniss’ equal in almost every way, even down to their looks. Gale is described as having black hair, olive skin, and gray eyes like Katniss. Adam Gregory has the acting chops from roles in 90210 and the movie 17 Again, don’t ask me how I know this.

Haymitch Abernathy Cast for Movie

Haymitch Abernathy – Katniss’ Mentor played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan 

The two fan favorites for Haymitch throughout the interwebs seem to lean between Hugh Laurie and Robert Downey Jr. The problem I have with those two are Robert Downy Jr. is too big of a name for this story and would that be distracting. Haymitch plays a big part in the story but not ‘RDJr. Big’ and you have to just not like Haymitch sometimes. The book describes Haymitch as A “paunchy, middle-aged man.” Hugh Laurie is good, but he’s a stick, he weighs like 13 pounds. Katniss also describes him as “quite the looker” when watching a video of him when he was younger. I’m not sure Laurie was ever a looker. My vote, however unpopular, is going to have to go with Watchmen’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Rue Cast for Movie

Rue – Katniss’ alli in The Hunger Games – played by Jadagrace

Rue is the 12 year old female tribute from District 11. She forms an alliance with Katniss, and is described with dark brown hair and golden-brown eyes. Her experience with Katniss stays with her for the remaining 2 books, so she has to have the acting chops to pull it off. Jadagrace starred in Terminator Salvation, so she’s a vet to post-apocalyptic stories.

Katniss Everdeen's Mom Cast for Movie

Katniss’ Mom

Katniss’s Mom is mentioned as very beautiful, though she suffered from severe and debilitating depression after Katniss’s father died. Because of this, Katniss had to take over the role of the protector of the family and has resented her for years. She is a skilled healer and slowly starts to come around. In this role, I think Robin Wright-Penn would be PERFECT.

President Snow Cast for Movie

President Snow – the dictator of the of Panem – played by Bill Nighy

President Snow is a bastard. Through and through. He’s described in the book as “snake-like” and smells of blood and roses. When I read the books I couldn’t help but always picture Bill Nighy with some surgically enhanced puffy lips.

What say you Moguls? Am I crazy?

Disagree? Who would you picture in these roles?

 

–          Voodrew

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13 Responses to “ARMCHAIR CASTS: THE HUNGER GAMES”

  1. The pivotal question for me is whether they plan to write and cast the film adaptation age-appropriately to what we read in the novels, or if they will nudge the script into targeting older contestants.

    I’m concerned that there will be so much worry over the idea of tweens and teenagers being forced to murder one another on-screen that the production will cave-in and make them all 18+.

    And if you do that, then there is absolutely no point in adapting this series to film.

    You can try to tell the same tale, you can be as otherwise faithful to the source material as possible, but changing that element will destroy the heart of The Hunger Games. It is the fact that we’re dealing with children, and observing the effects of turmoil on characters who are children, following their development through the trials faced, that gives this story it’s impact and meaning.

    I’m also at a loss to understand how they plan to adapt this without landing an R rating. Though the novels are written for a Young Adult audience, it is only the context provided and the carefully worded descriptions of some of the more violent and provocative moments that allow them to remain age-appropriate. Showing a teenager bashing in another teenager’s skull, or showing a 15 year-old girl nude is just not something you’re going to get away with on film.

    And again, simply eliminating those elements changes the entire tone of the work. One of the series’ greatest strengths lies in the author’s ability to craft these sequences so that they have meaning. It’s not exploitative, done just for the sake of being outrageous, but rather an extremely well-thought out method of allowing the reader to understand just what depths The Capital is willing to sink to, to understand how the contestants must degrade and debase themselves to the point of losing or altering their own identity just to survive. I think if you take these difficult and challenging moments out of the film, you will never really understand the sacrifices the characters are forced to make, and thus the actions they take down the line.

    While I’m expressing an obvious love for the source material, I’m not writing off a film version just yet. I think that in the right hands and with the right cast this production can have incredible impact. And I truly hope that it gets there.

    That said, I’d have to disagree with some of your choices, Voodrew. I don’t think you should give up on the possibility of finding a younger actress (or younger looking) who can give Katniss the physical presence she needs. Fonseca might be able to pull it off, particularly with the right make-up and costuming, but I think you really need someone with a more innocent look. Having seen True Grit, I think Steinfeld may be the better choice. And Lawrence is no slouch- despite her red-carpet supermodel glamour look, she absolutely nailed “dirty Appalachian 17-year old” in Winter’s Bone.

    I don’t know Hemsworth or Gregory well enough to comment on those selections, though I think you’ve done a good job of finding actors who physically embody the characters, particularly in Hemsworth as Peeta. (Though I still think you’re casting too old, but again, the make-up and costuming argument could prove me wrong….)

    I think your picks for Prim and Rue are perfect, Robin Wright-Penn can definitely carry the sense of detached melancholy necessary to fill the role of Ma Everdeen, and your selection of Jeffrey Dean Morgan is so spot-on that I will be upset if they cast anybody else.

    As for Nighy as Snow, I am on the fence about this one. I imagined a greater level of physical softness from Snow, Nighy’s hard angular looks may not fit the bill. And while I can see him doing “bastard” well enough, I don’t know that he’s the best fit given what is called for in the final scenes. It may just be the puffy lips and the fact that I’ve always thought he looked vaguely reptilian, but I’d like to see Tim Curry up for consideration.

    I know it might be hard to look past the comedic performances he’s known for, but you don’t have to look any further than his role as Pennywise to know that he can handled the sinister needed to pull off a quality Snow.

  2. That is the greatest response that anyone has ever given on of my posts. Thank you, Adam! You even seem to make me agree with your disagreements. 🙂 I totally understand what you’re saying about the age thing, I’m sure it can be pulled off correctly, they just HAVE to find the actors that can carry that weight. Without the emotion and weight, it will fall apart. I love the story so much by itself that I’m more wanting to see a film version of it just so I can see what someone else’s mental image of things are…like the arena and the cornucopia etc. I can’t wait to see that stuff in action.
    Great comment!

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