Director Gary Ross is currently prepping up his film adaptation of the book series The Hunger Games, and right now he's trying to finding his leading lady. It was recently reported that academy award nominated Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class), academy award nominated Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) are all contenders for the lead role of Katniss Everdeen in the film being produced by Lionsgate.
According to the trades Lawrence is the frontrunner for the role, she's the ones the producers want, but no offer has been made yet. So why haven't they offered her the role yet? Age. The character in the story is described as a woman between 15 and 20. Lawrence is 20 and Steinfeld and Breslin are both 14. Regardless of the age I think Lawrence is a great choice and I think she can pull off playing a teenage girl. If they don't get her, they have a couple solid runner-ups who would also both be great in the role. So, if any of these three actresses get it, I'll be happy.
The Hunger Games takes place in the futuristic ruins of North America, which crumbled and was replaced by a Capitol and 12 districts. Each district is forced to supply 2 teenagers, between 12 and 18. They participate in The Hunger Games, a televised reality series that pits the contestants against one another in a battle to the death. The heroine is 16-year old Katniss Everdeen, a skilled hunter who’s adept with a bow and arrow. She replaces her younger sister, who was chosen in a lottery. She is joined by a baker's son who is also chosen from her dirt poor home district.
The book that this film is based off of is awesome. If you haven't read it yet you should definitely check it out. I'm really excited to see this story brought to life on the big screen, and I think Ross will do a great job doing that. The script for the film was writer by Billy Ray and the film is scheduled to be released on March 23, 2012.
Here's a review and description of the book from author Stephen King:
As negative Utopias go, Suzanne Collins has created a dilly. The United States is gone. North America has become Panem, a TV-dominated dictatorship run from a city called the Capitol. The rest of Panem is divided into 12 Districts (the former 13th had the bad judgment to revolt and no longer exists). The yearly highlight in this nightmare world is the Hunger Games, a bloodthirsty reality TV show in which 24 teenagers chosen by lottery two from each District fight each other in a desolate environment called the ''arena.'' The winner gets a life of ease; the losers get death. The only ''unspoken rule'' is that you can't eat the dead contestants. Let's see the makers of the movie version try to get a PG-13 on this baby.
Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen (lame name, cool kid), a resident of District 12, which used to be Appalachia. She lives in a desperately poor mining community called the Seam, and when her little sister's name is chosen as one of the contestants in the upcoming Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. A gutsy decision, given the fact that District 12 hasn't produced a Hunger Games winner in 30 years or so, making them the Chicago Cubs of the postapocalypse world. Complicating her already desperate situation is her growing affection for the other District 12 contestant, a clueless baker's son named Peeta Mellark. Further complicating her situation is her sorta-crush on her 18-year-old hunting partner, Gale. Gale isn't clueless; Gale is smoldering. Says so right on page 14.
The love triangle is fairly standard teen-read stuff; what 16-year-old girl wouldn't like to have two interesting guys to choose from? The rest of The Hunger Games, however, is a violent, jarring speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense and may also generate a fair amount of controversy. I couldn't stop reading, and once I got over the main character's name (Gale calls her Catnip ugh), I got to like her a lot. And although ''young adult novel'' is a dumbbell term I put right up there with ''jumbo shrimp'' and ''airline food'' in the oxymoron sweepstakes, how many novels so categorized feature one character stung to death by monster wasps and another more or less eaten alive by mutant werewolves? I say more or less because Katniss, a bow-and-arrow Annie Oakley, puts the poor kid out of his misery before the werewolves can get to the prime cuts.
Collins is an efficient no-nonsense prose stylist with a pleasantly dry sense of humor. Reading The Hunger Games is as addictive (and as violently simple) as playing one of those shoot-it-if-it-moves videogames in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it's not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway. Balancing off the efficiency are displays of authorial laziness that kids will accept more readily than adults. When Katniss needs burn cream or medicine for Peeta, whom she more or less babysits during the second half of the book, the stuff floats down from the sky on silver parachutes. And although the bloody action in the arena is televised by multiple cameras, Collins never mentions Katniss seeing one. Also, readers of Battle Royale (by Koushun Takami), The Running Man, or The Long Walk (those latter two by some guy named Bachman) will quickly realize they have visited these TV badlands before.
But since this is the first novel of a projected trilogy, it seems to me that the essential question is whether or not readers will care enough to stick around and find out what comes next for Katniss. I know I will. But then, I also have a habit of playing Time Crisis until all my quarters are gone. B --Entertainment Weekly