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I have mixed feelings about the recent news that Jennifer Lawrence is the frontrunner to play Katniss in The Hunger Games movie adaptation, but it's not too late for the producers to bring on an actor I actually think would be perfect. The Kids Are All Right and Journey to the Center of the Earth star Josh Hutcherson has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he's read for the part of Peeta, and while he admits director Gary Ross is "meeting a lot of people right now," he's seriously gunning for the part. Here's what Hutcherson had to say about the character:
"The character is so much who I am—self deprecating, a people person. And he’d be such a great character to play! Like in the third book? Oh my God.”
In the book, America has fallen apart and been replaced by a society run by the harsh Capitol; every year two teenagers from each of the country's 12 districts is sent to participate in the Hunger Games, a battle to the death held to entertain the people in the Capitol and remind the districts of how powerless they are. Katniss and Peeta are the chosen fighters from the dirt-poor District 12; while Katniss is a scrappy hunter and prickly to everyone she meets, Peeta is a relatively well-to-do baker's son, friendly and funny even when Katniss is hostile. I Am Number Four's Alex Pettyfer was apparently offered the role, but for me Hutcherson is far more appropriate for it, capturing that approachable everyday guy vibe without being a total wimp.

With neither Katniss or Peeta yet cast-- and the third point of the love triangle, Gale, not even mentioned yet-- I imagine Ross is meeting with a lot of actors to test out their chemistry together, and probably looking for actors who look young enough to play their 16-year-old characters but are old enough to be past child labor laws. I still think Lawrence is too old for the part, but if they manage to pair her with Hutcherson, I could renew my faith in the whole venture after all.

Do you guys have any dream suggestions for Hunger Games casting the rest of us should be keeping in mind?