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'The Hunger Games': Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth complete the love triangle

April 4, 2011 | 12:57 pm

Hutcherson "The Hunger Games" has nabbed its boys. Lionsgate announced today that "The Kids Are All Right" star Josh Hutcherson (left) will play opposite Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss as fellow competitor Peeta Mellark while teen heartthrob Liam Hemsworth ("The Last Song") will take the role of childhood friend/love interest Gale Hawthorne.

The announcement completes the much-anticipated trio that will play the three leads in the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' bestselling series "The Hunger Games."

Since the film, to be directed by Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit"), has received a slew of comparisons to the "Twilight" franchise, the big question is whether or not these relative unknowns are on the same path to mega-stardom that engulfed Kristen Stewart, Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner when "Twilight" debuted.

Hutcherson, 18, has essentially grown up in the movies, getting his first role in "American Splendor" at age 10, and so may be able to handle some of the pressure, since he has gradually seen his star power increase and has been aggressively seeking these higher-profile roles. Hutcherson was one of the lead contenders for the new "Spider-Man" and for a period of time was rumored to be the lead choice until Sony surprised everyone with its selection of Andrew Garfield. Also, prior to "The Kids Are All Right," Hutcherson costarred in "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," a film Universal had hoped would turn into "Twilight" for boys. Unfortunately, the movie from director Paul Weitz wasn't well received and grossed just $34 million worldwide. Hutcherson's third false start seems to be the still-to-be released remake of "Red Dawn," which is still not dated due to MGM's financial troubles and the need to rejigger the film's villains from Chinese to North Korean.

Liam hemsworth  In contrast, Hemsworth (left) has a much shorter résumé. The 21-year old Australian has appeared in three movies, most recently opposite Miley Cyrus in the romance "The Last Song." Hemsworth was also frequently in the mix for many of the high-profile superhero films that were cast in the last year.

Nabbing a film with the rabid following of "The Hunger Games" audience will put both these guys on the stardom track. And if the series proves to be anything like "Twilight," both Hutcherson and Hemsworth will become the objects of many teen girls' admirations -- whether they are ready for it or not.


'Hunger Games' author: Jennifer Lawrence is 'beautiful, unforgiving and brave'

'Hunger Games': How director Gary Ross got the gig

--Nicole Sperling

 Photo credits: Josh Hutcherson by Tyler Shields; Liam Hemsworth by Frerick M. Brown / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (46)

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So much hate at the gale choice and I like Josh but I like hunter Parrish better. The producers really don't want fans to watch this movie

I'm soooooo glad that they've gotten Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and not Hunter Parish. Hunter would have worked better with Kaya Scodelario, whom I'm sooo glad didn't get chosen for Katniss. I really didn't mind who would star as Gale, but in comparison to Jennifer Lawrence, Liam is absolutely perfect. After all, people mistake Gale as Katniss's brother or cousin. :)

They really are white-washing this cast. By replacing the plain, olive skinned characters with blonde haired blue eyed beauties they are changing the message of the book. (at least for Katniss and Gale.) The book was as much about race as it was political extremism.

Excellent Choices! Josh hutcherson is a Great choice for peeta i can see him playing it well, he seems like the type to 'Play the audience well' and because they chose lawrence for Katniss, Liam would be a good Best friend/almost brother type for her.

Classic Hollywood casting: take two unknowns that are completely unlike the characters from an extremely popular novel and cast them in the key roles. You can't tell me a short, unattractive brunette is right for Peeta if you've even glanced at 5 pages of the books.

Memo to Nina Jacobson: nobody respects your casting choices since you put your buddy Tilda into The Chronicles of Narnia.


I and many others wanted Hunter as Peeta. Josh doesn't seem like the right fit for Peeta.
Sure you can put on contacts or dye your hair but wouldn't it just be better to get someone that looks the right part the first time? So us fans can see the characters we saw when we read the books?

OMG, Could this get any worse! Hunter for Peeta!! He loooooooks sooooooooooooo much like the Peeta we wanted! Have you not seen on tumblr!

Go on tumblr go to the search tpye in hunger games. Im so sure that a million depressed fans will come up saying how much they wanted Hunter for Peeta. You will like see all these gifs and photos of what could of been!!!!!!!

This movie is going to suck big time i wonder if they picked the cast while they where tripping on acid this cast its all wrong in so many ways Josh should be playing the Hobbit movie not hunger games . What a disappointment while we at it make Rue an asian . Lets have fun and change the name on the movie as well . I lost all interest in watching the movie. This is a nightmare !! What not enough blonds with blue eyes in the world anymore that you had only him to play the part ??

Josh looks like dogfood and Liam acts like dogfood so either way the fans of the book are SOL on this one. Instead of seeing the movie, I'm joining all the fans who've decided to save the 20 bucks. We'll read the book instead.

I can't believe they compared this series to Twilight. Seriously?

The choices seem fine in my opinion. Jennifer Lawrence simply needs some brunette hair dye, spray tan, and gray eye contacts. Josh looks like Peeta, though his hair needs to be dyed blonde, and blue eye contacts will need to be obtained. I'm just so so with Liam Hemsworth. His acting is okay, but he's not really Gale like.

I'm just curious to see who is casted as Prim, Rue, and the others. Really, people, calm down. These aren't life or death descisions.

Well, so much for this movie.

These people who are casting ruined the show. I am so so mad!!!!

So very disappointed in the casting. I loved the books and had hoped they would have age appropriate actors who at least resembled the characters. Has Lions Gate seen JJ Abrams Super 8 trailer where he used children? It's wonderful. Liam Helmsworth? What a disaster. They have really distanced the fans from the movie.

They should've cast Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and Gary Coleman.

Why are we so worried look wise? That can be extremely easily changed, but you can't feign acting abilities. Maybe we should give them a chance.

nnnnnooooooooooo!!!! Okay, the boys are beautiful, but come on!!!! Peeta is light haired and blue eyed! And the body type isn't right! they need to switch characters!!! And Gale has dark hair and . . oh wait, the eyes will work. Still!
I was really hoping they'd find some really cute guys who had no background, instead of someone with a record. Now people like myself will be biased. EVEN THOUGH I LOVE THE BOOKS.

What? If this is a joke, you missed April Fools day by about 3 days. Hutcherson, eh. He acts well and they can dye his hair. But Hemsworth? What? He can't act and he isn't even that attractive. He is so wrong for this. This choice makes me worry that they are going to butcher the Hunger Games like they've butchered Twilight, Percy Jackson, and countless other book-to-film adaptations.

This is highly disappointing. They are not staying true to the characters at all. While Josh is a decent actor, he is not the right one for Peeta. He does not give off such a sweet yet fierce, boy next door feel. As for Liam, he has not done enough for me to say anything about his acting skill but he does not match the description for Gale either.

If there is any chance of salvaging what is such a great series, they have to cast the exactly right people for the remaining characters. Partically Prim, Rue, and Snow.

@fans- Just because Hunter Parrish/your favorite didn't get cast, you want to sulk forever and not watch the movie? Seriously?

I'm not judging until I see their acting in the finished product.

p.s Remember those Twilight fans when R.Pattinson was cast as Edward? If only they had stuck with their not-gonna-watch-it vow, the movie would've tanked, and then they'd spare us of the plague that Twilight is today.

People stop complaining, you haven't even seen the movie yet! And I'm sure they must of been good since they cast them in the first place. And hair and eyes can be easily done, I mean hello Harry Potter anyone same with Jennifer. Just because they didn't go with who you wanted doesn't mean you can back down on this. I for one think Josh is great, I mean yes he wasn't my first choice ever (Kevin Schmidt) but looking at BTT and others he does have the chopd for it and I did watch The Last Song (its so sad at the end :( )) And Liam did have the same sort of persona that Gale calls for and I don't think we can judge it until the movie comes out or a poster. So I'm am staying hopeful and can't wait to see them bring Peeta and Gale to life :)

I really don't like that they choose Liam as Gale. They really aren't staying true to the descriptions in the book. Gale was darker with dark hair and grey eyes. So was Katniss. I actually think Josh will make a good Peeta though.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
I'm happy, I don't care what the rest of you think. :D :D :D :D :D :D

They went so typical "hollywood" for this casting. No originality or anything. Just pretty faces. Pretty faces that dont match the characters in the book at all.

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