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

October 26, 2010 |  5:53 pm

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.