Film News: Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson Cast in ‘The Hunger Games’

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CHICAGO – Lionsgate is hoping that their upcoming launch of film adaptations of the hit books “The Hunger Games” will be the next “Twilight” or “Harry Potter” franchise and they’ve cast two young stars to appear alongside the Oscar-nominated Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) — Josh Hutcherson (“The Kids Are All Right”) and Liam Hemsworth (“The Last Song”).

We received the press release today from Lionsgate announcing the news that Hemsworth will play Gale Hawthorne and Hutcherson will star as Peeta Mellark. Jennifer Lawrence plays heroine Katniss Everdeen. As for who the young men will be playing, we’ll quote the press release directly:

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
Photo credit: Scholastic Press

“Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.

Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.”

Gary Ross will direct the film to be released on March 23rd, 2012, based on the best-selling novel that has sold 3 million copies in the United States alone. It is the first in a trilogy.

““The Hunger Games” chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event. Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home. The Hunger Games novel has been on the New York Times best seller list for over 100 consecutive weeks. Foreign rights for the book, published by Scholastic have been sold in 41 countries.”

The 21-year-old Hemsworth starred in the Australian series “Neighbours” and went on to appear in “Knowing” and “The Last Song.” He is also filming “Arabian Nights.” The 18-year-old Hutcherson has been an actor for years, appearing in “American Splendor,” “The Polar Express,” “Kicking & Screaming,” “Zathura,” “RV,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth, “Cirque du Freak,” and “The Kids Are All Right.” content director Brian Tallerico

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