This is Sandy. She is a well-read Weimaraner with an affinity for historical fiction, Argentine poetry, and David Sedaris. She has become a champion for independent bookstores and is currently the resident canine literary consultant for One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia. See her official page on the One More Page website.
It's been a few days since Lionsgate announced that Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth would be playing the two young male leads in the upcoming Hunger Games movie, and I think fans of the book have had time to digest the news appropriately. Some are put off by the differences in physical appearance between the actors and the characters' descriptions in the book, but I think most are just upset that fan favorites Hunter Parrish and Ben Barnes won't be playing Peeta and Gale (respectively). I, for one, was pleased to see Josh Hutcherson cast as Peeta because he's proven that he can actually act (as evidenced by his performance in The Kids Are All Right), but I was dubious as to whether he'd be able to really capture the Peeta-ness of Peeta (pardon my ridiculously vague fan-speak), whose character requires a sweetness and openness that not everyone can pull off. My doubts were assuaged, however, when I saw this clip of Hutcherson in Bridge to Terabithia when he was about thirteen or fourteen, proving that he, a) knows how to gaze longingly at a pretty girl, b) has experience starring in movies based on popular books, and c) knows how to swing dramatically from a rope (which does not come up in The Hunger Games, per se, but is still a useful skill to have).
All in all, I'm extremely happy with the casting choices for Peeta and Katniss (whom, it was announced a few weeks ago, will be played by Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence). I wish I could say the same about costar Liam Hemsworth being cast as Gale, Katniss' hardened hunting partner. Physically, he's right for the role (assuming he dyes his hair darker and wears gray contacts), and I haven't technically seen him act in anything (he was in The Last Song, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, as well as Nic Cage's sci-fi thriller Knowing), so I don't want to judge him prematurely...but I am. And yes, I do realize that it's wrong to make assumptions about his level of acting ability based on the fact that his claim to fame is being Miley Cyrus' ex-boyfriend. I also know, deep down in the ever-diminishing-but-still-present rational part of my brain, that casting directors are more qualified than I am to choose who is right for these characters. But this is my second favorite book series of all time (Harry Potter will forever be number one), so I think I reserve the right to be at least mildly concerned about even the slightest connection between Miley Cyrus and my beloved Hunger Games. That being said, two out of three is not bad, and I'm still willing to be convinced that Hemsworth was also a good choice. And I think even the fans who are unhappy with the casting choices would agree that it could be much worse. *Cough* Eragon *cough*
The moment we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. The three central characters have been cast for the Hunger Games movie, which is scheduled to hit theaters in March 2012. The news came just over two weeks after the announcement that Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence would be dyeing her golden locks dark to play the lead role of Katniss in the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' bestselling YA series. Josh Hutcherson, who played the teenage son in The Kids Are All Right (also an Oscar-nominated film, though Hutcherson himself did not get a nomination), will take on the role of Peeta Mellark, the lovestruck "tribute" from District 12 forced to fight to the death alongside teen heroine Katniss. The role of Gale, Katniss' hunting partner and her other love interest, will be played by Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song). Fans might be surprised by these casting choices considering that neither actor (nor Lawrence) fits the physical description of the characters in the book. The character of Peeta is supposed to be blonde, while Josh Hutcherson is a brunette. Gale is described as having olive skin and dark hair and eyes, though none of those apply to Liam Hemsworth. That being said, hair dye and contacts can solve most of those incongruencies. The real question is, can they act? Lawrence demonstrated her acting ability in last year's Winter's Bone (for which she earned her Oscar nomination), and Hutcherson gave a notably impressive performance in The Kids Are All Right. Hopefully these actors, along with director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), will do justice to Collins' fantastic story and make the Hunger Games movie into the blockbuster it deserves to be.