The hardened huntress protagonist of The Hunger Games is described in the books as having olive skin and gray eyes. When I first read the book I envisioned Lost's Tania Raymonde but now that the movie is a reality, the front-runners for the coveted role of the Hunger Games heroine seem to be Kaya Scodelario--best known for her role as Effy on the original UK version of Skins--and Lyndsy Fonseca from Nikita and How I Met Your Mother. All three actresses have the striking beauty and intensity to play Katniss, and there's still the possibility that they might cast an unknown actress for the lead role. At the end of the day, I think everyone agrees that the most important qualification is not her physical appearance or whether she can pull off playing a sixteen-year-old, but her acting ability. From what I've seen of these three actresses, they all fit the bill. Although I'd be happy to see Scodelario or Fonseca get the role, I'm still pulling for Raymonde.
Some people suggest that the younger characters should be played by (relative) unknowns and that Haymitch (the drunk, middle-aged mentor to the tributes) be played by a famous actor in order to draw more of an audience. The most frequently-mentioned names to play Haymitch are Robert Downey Jr. and House star Hugh Laurie, both of whom I'm sure would be wonderful in the role. However, it is my strong personal belief that Bruce Campbell is the best person to play Haymitch. If you don't know him from the Evil Dead movies, maybe you've seen him more recently as Sam on Burn Notice. He's really, really good at being drunk and crotchety, plus he has a huge cult fan base. I'd say we have a winner.
The Internet and I agree on this one. Almost everything I've read has the Glee (and Pushing Daisies) star as the favorite to play the bubbly Effie Trinket. Her winning smile, shrill voice, and general adorableness make her the ideal candidate. Good luck, Kristin, "and may the odds be ever in your favor!"
Finnick Odair: Okay, so he's not technically in the first book of the series (we first meet him in the sequel, Catching Fire), but I loved the idea of Ian Somerhalder (Lost, The Vampire Diaries) playing him so much that I had to include him. Somerhalder is an expert in playing the beautiful bad boy with a soft side, so playing the former Hunger Games champion from District 4 would be right up his alley.
Prim Everdeen: Chloe Moretz, the breakout star of 2010 from Kick-Ass and Let The Right One In, has been suggested by some to play the role of Katniss, but those of us who've actually read the books know that she's too young and too cute to play the oldest Everdeen sister. (She's a great actress, but she's just not right for Katniss.) But she could be perfect for the role of Katniss' younger sister, Prim.
Rue: A surprising suggestion for who should play the young tribute who teams up with Katniss is Willow Smith. The "Whip My Hair" singer has mentioned that she wants to get into acting, and if she's inherited any of her parents' talent, she could be great for the role of Rue.
Caesar Flickerman: More of a minor character, I don't think many people are particularly concerned with who plays the charismatic host of the Hunger Games telecast. I think James Marsden (X-Men, The Notebook) could bring a lot to the role, with his almost doll-like good looks and his incredible comedy chops (as seen in last week's episode of Modern Family).
What are your thoughts on The Hunger Games casting? Do you think director Gary Ross can maintain the essence of the books? Are you as scared as I am by the comparisons between The Hunger Games and the Twilight series? Also, check out Entertainment Weekly's picks for the cast here.