Though a wide variety of up-and-coming actors have auditioned for the lead roles in The Hunger Games, it seems two of the most famous names are getting closer to snagging the parts. According to Deadline there are no deals in place yet, but Liam Hemsworth is the lead contender to play Gale, while Josh Hutcherson is at the top of the list to play Peeta. Both characters are young men who are romantically involved with the lead character Katniss, who will be played by Jennifer Lawrence.

Given all the terrible names we've seen in the mix so far, both Hemsworth and Hutcherson seem really right-- Hemsworth is rugged and handsome as Gale is described in the books, and though he's the same age as Jennifer Lawrence (Gale in the books is several years older) seems appropriately grown-up. And Hutcherson, who has proven far more significant dramatic chops in The Kids Are All Right and Bridge to Terabithia, has the slightly puppyish likability that makes Peeta stand out in the books. And Hutcherson, for his part, is already on the record about how much he wants the part.

The Hunger Games is set for release in March of next year, which means production should be starting quickly. Hemsworth's role will be pretty small in the first film-- Gale is left behind when Katniss and Peeta are shipped off to fight in the Hunger Games-- but Hutcherson will need to do a lot of training for the fight scenes in a short period of time. Get these roles confirmed and get going!

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