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PREACH IT! Casting a teenage killer in 'The Hunger Games' [Updated]

The Hunger Games casting candidates for Katniss

Now that "The Hobbit" has been cast and "The Twilight Saga" is winding down (very, very slowly, because of a two-part finale, and thanks so much for that, Summit Entertainment), it's time to find a new franchise over which we must obsess and weep and shriek.

That new series, of course, is "The Hunger Games." Author Suzanne Collins has given us a world where kids fight in giant outdoor cage matches to the death, a la "Battle Royale." The casting rumors for the inevitable film adaptation have begun to fly in earnest, with names such as Chloe Moretz, Lyndsy Fonseca and Kaya Scodelario in the forefront.

Of course, the only problem with these capable actresses is their color, or rather, lack thereof. The lead character, Katniss Everdeen — a hard-bitten girl with bodice-ripper name — is supposed to be olive skinned, with dark hair.

Enter another, browner candidate for the job: Malese Jow, she of "The Vampire Diaries."

To her credit, Jow possesses a level of ambition usually reserved for political candidates. "Reading #HungerGames," the 20-year-old recently tweeted. "SO good! If they do it up right, the movie will be awesome. If I may.... #MaleseForKatniss!!"

You may indeed.

The more we think about it, the more Jow seems like the perfect actress for the job. Selena Gomez has more fans, but she's too much of a punkin-headed cutie to slaughter a child via an arrow to the chest.

Kristen Stewart? Too morose. Emma Watson? Maybe. Miley Cyrus? Too happy, even when she's supposed to play sad.

Dakota Fanning? Well, the blond force of nature could certainly channel Everdeen's hardcore personality. And we hear that hair dye does come in brown. But there is no buzz involving the actress and this particular role. Maybe she's had enough killing via the "Twilight" franchise.

But enough of our gabbing. We like Jow for the role — but who would you like to see climb into the arena? Tell us in the comments section below.

— Leslie Gornstein

[For the record, 7:27 p.m.: In a previous version of this post, Kaya Scodelario's last name was misspelled. As for no picture of her in the composite, that wasn't intentional — we simply couldn't lay our hands on one, but click here to see her. Thanks to commenter@rose for catching our gaffe.]

Photos, from left: Dakota Fanning, Lyndsy Fonseca, Miley Cyrus, Chloe Moretz, Selena Gomez, Kristen Stewart, Malese Jow. Credits, from left: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images; Ben Mark Holzberg / Episodic / MCT; Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; Andy Rain / EPA; Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images; Peter Kramer / Associated press ;  Kristian Dowling / Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (44)

I rather have an unknown but I would also love to have Malese Jow play the part I think she's perfect for the part after i saw her in vampire diaries, even thought people think she might be too old since she's 20 she still looks 16 to me because of her small figure just like katniss!

Wow, nice not putting in a pic of Kaya and spelling her last name wrong. She's the number one fan pic.
And since when did Dakota, Miley, and Selena have been mentioned for Katniss?
I like Malese...but she isn't my number one. And why did you barely talk about her acting? smh.

Are you serious!? Kristen Stewart? MILEY CYRUS?

Please, LA Times, expand your movie repertoire more. Sure, Jow would be good at it, but that's the only good one out of all these. Why? 'Cause she's kickass, but can play sweet/protective. .

Jeez, fail for the rest though.

I would LOVE for Malese Jow to play the part. I was so disappointed when her role as Anna in the Vampire Diaries was killed off. She is awesome!! Being 20 years old shouldn't stop her from being eligible either. She can look the part!

malese jow!!

no 20+ year olds for Katniss, please. They will be 30 by the time Mockingjay films. 30 playing a 18 year old=no. Has no one of influence even considered Jodelle Ferland (Bree Tanner in Eclipse). She is dark skinned, 16 and interesting/pretty, not outrright beautiful. She is perfect.

Christie D'Zurilla here from MOG with a gentle reminder that in general we don't publish comments that include links. Feel free to resubmit w/o the bit.ly, etc.


Malese Jow is so talented and the perfect choice to portray the character Katniss Everdeen. Great article. :)

Support the MaleseForKatniss campaign on Facebook and join our Page. We're also present on Twitter. You can find all links on our Page.

Andreas - The MaleseForKatniss Support Team.

And don't forget to tag your tweets if you want #MaleseForKatniss !

Emily Browning or Jodelle Ferland for Katniss!

lyndsy fonesca for sure!!!!! she already kicks butt big time, no body has to train her!!!!!!!

LILY COLLINS would be great as Katniss.
She´s a special kind of beauty, not so girly or glamorous.
But KAYA would be okay too.

Mandy Musgrave

Definetly not Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus!!

I say if they play Katniss, a lot of younger children would like to see their favorite stars act in a new movie...

my Vote is for Malese Jow :) i really hope she gets the part as Katniss.

Malese Jow is my favorite.

Malese Jow is the best out of those choices.

The only one I see fit for katniss in the shown above list is the one in the second picture (boxer) I dont know her name but she is the closest to what I picture Katniss looking like. Still a no name actress would be nice. I as many others would love to audition but seeing as how that will probably never happen... I'll go with my listed choice. PLEASE NO DISNEY OR TWILIGHT STARS!!! Let some one else have a chance to shine.

Okay i have to say not a whole lot of good chocies but if i had to choose i would say Dakota would be the best or jow but i would rather see Dakota

I'd love to see Malese Jow or Emma Watson play Katniss.

Kaya Scodelario FTW!!
Malese and the others are a big NO NO for me.
Malese could play... one of the other tributes but not Katniss.

i really think selena can pull it off and now that wizards of waverly place is ending, it would be really cool to see her in this and show ppl a different kickass side to her

If Saoirse Ronan doesn't have a chance, then have Chloe Grace Moretz star as Katniss.

Malese Jow is the most appropriate for this role. She's so talanted perfect actress! I think, she's great choice! Give her a chance!

i think that kaya scodelario would be perfect she has a very serious face just like i imagine katniss would be and i think she would be perfect. selina gomez, and miley is not a go for me their to i don't know they are just happy looking and this movie is a kind of suffering and hostile containing mood

I would love Malese for the role for Katniss as well. I hope that she at least gets to audition for the part. Not only does she look great for the role, but her work on The Vampire Diaries both showed a venerability as well as a toughness that would work. Even though most of her work is in the teen genre (alot of Nick shows and TVD), it may be an advantage because of the target audience for Hunger Games.

From what I have seen so far, she does seem to have the acting capability to rival the other potentials. I say give her a chance!

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