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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)

wait wait what? What part of Malese Jow is "brown" as you so eloquently put it? If I'm not mistaken she's half asian. I wouldn't mind if she got the role but if you're going to be a stickler for skin color here where in the book does it say katniss is half asian? Kaya Scodelario has Latin blood. But I guess that's not sufficiently brown enough for you.

miley sucks for the role of katniss and so does selena gomez

again i say kaya scodelario should be katniss. she may not be the brown katniss is described as but there is nothing a little make-up and computer technology that can't fix that

unknown yes. if its not an unkown im not watching the movie. there is no good actress now a days that is good for playing Katniss.

Malese Jow would be Perfect for the role!

My choice is between Malese Jow and Nina Dobrev(:

I had to look up Lily Collins, but I think she'd be pretty good actually. Or the Kaya girl. I think Lyndsey is to old,not that she is that old, but she'd be like 28 for the last movie.
dakota, I think shes not at all right for this role and niether is selena. no disney or twilight. that would ruin it.

I really doubt they would cast Kristen Stewart. No matter how you shake it, she's Twilight--that's what she's going to be known for...for quite awhile. In my opinion, they should scope for new talent. Find an unknown actress or someone who hasn't done much.
Miley Cyrus won't get it because she's Disney (and I don't think Katniss gives any lap dances).
Who knows. Let's hope we get a competent director and screenwriter.

p.s. also to the girl that said no "20+" for Katniss. You DO know that Rob Pattinson was 23-24 when he was playing a 17 year old right? Honestly, if they look young enough to play a 16-17 year old then I say go for it!
An older actress would mean more understanding of complex acting. I'm not saying that a 16 or 17 year old couldn't. I'm saying we should be open minded and give whoever they choose a fair chance.

I don't think any of those people are good for the part. They need an unknown person so we won't have are own opinions on how they wil be as Katniss. I read the books and known of those people are good for the part ( they better not have Miley or Kristen). Give someone new a chance to come out and show us her talent. Plus the directer has come out and said they have no one for the part yet and that auditions haven't even started yet. He said that the will find the right person and to just give it time. So lets all just wait and see who will play all the charecters and I know it will be good with who ever they choose. The best part is that Suzanna Collins is writing the sreen play that means its going to be a lot like the book. Can't wait for the movie to come out!

No one over the age of 18 for the part and isn't katniss supposed to be 16 in the first book. It will be weird if they have someone older then her.


Miley would suck, Selena would be equally as bad, and Malese Jow just doesn't have enough acting abilities. we've got to remember how rough katniss is. i don't think these Hollywood sweethearts could pull off a character such as Katniss. The actress who plays katniss must be someone you would remember not because of her pretty face but because of her believable performance of Katniss "the girl on fire"

Malese JOw for the win!

Okay, I think that (personally) no one over the age of 16 should be playing Katniss. I mean, she's only 16 in the first book, right? So, if they could, they should even get someone a little younger than sixteen. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEAAAASEEEE DO NOT CAST MILEY OR KRISTEN!!!!!! That would just ruin the movie in a way that cannot be fixed. That plus the fact that they aren't fit for the part anyway. Dakota and Selena? I don't think they'd fit the part either. And Malese Jow.....well, i don't really think she has the kick butt skills that Katniss needs to have. Plus, she'd make a better Clove (or Lucy Hale) with Jackson Rathbone as Cato. I think that maybe a more unknown actor would have a real career boost out of this......so maybe someone whos only been in 2 or 3 movies.....(although if they did do auditions id be there!!!!) Maybe Nicola Peltz would be good.She's sixteen too, so yup:)) But maybe not....i don't know, they need a really good really young actress:)) maybe we will just have to wait a couple of years for oneto show up!!!!!! That's my opinions!!!

Whyy do you people keep saying Kaya i mean shes a good actress but she looks old in a wayy. .

I really want Willa Holland to play katniss. I think she would be perfect and she has acting experience but she's not well known. Look her up.

SOMEONE who hasnt had their big break yet .

OMG no! Jennifer Lawrence all the way. Just dye her hair. She is a way better actress than all of these girls.

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