Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Hunger Games: Katniss and Peeta

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. When I found out Lionsgate was going to make this beloved novel into a movie, I was... apprehensive. Since that initial announcement, I have been like a rabid fan, devouring anything and everything I could about the film; I had to be sure they were going to do the book justice. I've seen some wonderful book adaptations (The Lord of the Rings) where I could tell those involved in making it treasured the novel like I do. I've also watched some devastatingly awful books-to-film (City of Ember) where it seems as though they just wanted to make a quick buck and thought this particular story would do. Of course, there are those adaptations in which the book and movie are quite different (The Lightning Thief), but it worked for me and I enjoyed it  nonetheless. In the case of The Hunger Games movie, I'm not so sure I would be satisfied with anything less than a wonderful, accurate, dedicated translation from book to film; I would be crushed if they ruined this story.

As news and images have leaked out about the film, I've become more and more excited. I was going to wait until the tributes had all been cast to share images & my thoughts, but then I decided I would rather wait until we had some "official" images of Katniss and Peeta... just to avoid all the "he's a brunette!" "she's a blonde!" "she's too old" "he's too old" comments. Well, the time has finally come because Entertainment Weekly has come through again with an exclusive look at Friday's cover featuring... wait for it... Peeta! And Gale, too... but PEETA! Now that we have official photographs of Katniss and Peeta, I feel as though I can move ahead with my movie gushing... so let's get started!

I'm sure those of you who are HG addicts like I am are already well aware of the May issue of Entertainment Weekly in which the image of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was debuted. Needless to say, I searched high & low (thank you Barnes & Noble!) for this particular EW edition. I don't think I have to mention how nervous I was to find out a 20-something, blonde actress was going to play one of my favorite heroines of all time: 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen. I tried to keep an open mind but, even being a visual person, I was still unsuccessful at imagining Jennifer as Katniss. Katniss has the grey eyes and dark hair of those in her neighborhood (the Seam), olive skin tone, and a small frame. Jennifer Lawrence didn't fit the bill in any of those categories; she seemed very womanly to me... and tall. She may not be exactly what I pictured Katniss to look like, but after seeing this image on EW, it became a little easier for me to deal with. Now does Jennifer have the acting chops to pull off the character personality and whatnot? I'm not sure, as I  have yet to see Jennifer act in anything. I've decided to reserve my final, pre-release judgement of her as Katniss until I've watched one of her movies... if that makes any sense. I can only hope that she's able to portray Katniss in all her strong, self-reliant, complicated yet wonderful glory. 

(oh pic-editing skills... I need to work on you! meh.)
So, as you might have guessed after my bit of gushing, I absolutely love Peeta. I have always preferred the boy-next-door, nice guy type as opposed to the rugged, bad boys most girls seem like. Always. Peeta is about as "nice guy" as you can get. The first time I read The Hunger Games, I instantly fell for him. I'm not afraid to admit it, Peeta is totally my literary crush (yes, I'm aware I'm a dork & I don't care!) and if there are any "real" guys out there like him, please send them my way! Really. *sigh* Moving on... Peeta is the kind of guy who will do anything and everything for the one he loves. His smarts, self-deprecating humor and sweet temper make him absolutely adorable; not to mention he certainly has a way with words. He really is an all around good guy. Sure, he can be fierce when called for, but as he says in the book, he refuses to let anyone turn him into someone he's not. I like that. I like it a lot. When I heard that Josh Hutcherson was cast as Peeta, I was strangely okay with it. I know there's such a thing as hair dye and contacts (Peeta is blonde and blue-eyed while Josh is, well, not) so that wasn't an issue. He was also pretty close to Peeta's age (Peeta is 16, Josh 18) and they had roughly the same, stocky build. Everything seemed quite close to being on point... except for the height. I was worried Josh was too short! I know, I know, triviality and all that. But still! I worried he was too short to play Peeta to Jennifer's Katniss. I read any and every article that talked about Peeta, hoping to get even the tiniest bit of evidence that this was not an issue. Thankfully, I believe I have found that reassurance... especially after seeing the upcoming cover of EW. I mean, look at it! That's my Peeta! I am ecstatic about getting more news and images as it gets closer to the film release. Bring on the trailer!

Wondering how I was reassured about the casting? I read what author extraordinaire, Suzanne Collins, had to say about it! I figured if she was totally behind and excited about the actors chosen to play my favorite characters, then I should be too. I absolutely trust her judgement. I mean, she did write Peeta and Katniss after all, right? Right. One of my favorite things Suzanne said during the EW exclusive interview (also with director Gary Ross) was:
"...People may get thrown, say, by the color of an actor’s hair or maybe something physical, but I tell you: If Josh had been bright purple and had had six foot wings and gave that audition, I’d have been like “Cast him! We can work around the wings.” He was that good."
Isn't that great?! Check out the interview for more gushing and to see the bonding between Gary and Suzanne over the whole movie-making process. I love seeing directors really involve the author of the book they're adapting to film. With such an amazing start, I think we're going to be in for a treat when the film finally gets released March 2012. I'm so excited!

Stay tuned for more cast images and thoughts!

UPDATE: Check out my tribute to the Tributes!


  1. THANKS for the update on this.

    New Follower.

    Just stopping by for a look around.


  2. You're most welcome! I enjoyed making this post & hope to be able to post more! I'm glad you stopped by & thanks for the follow!


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