After months of rumors and speculation, Lionsgate — the studio behind the upcoming Hunger Games film adaptation — has announced that they’ve officially cast the roles of Peeta and Gale!
Josh Hutcherson, of Vampire’s Assistant and Bridge to Terabithia fame, joins the film’s cast as Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District 12 who is sent to the Hunger Games alongside Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence):
Liam Hemsworth (known for his role in The Last Song alongside Miley Cyrus) will reprise the role of Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’ best friend and hunting companion in District 12:
Here’s the press release from Lionsgate:
LOS ANGELES, CA, April 4, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that actor Josh Hutcherson (THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT) has been cast in the role of Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth (THE LAST SONG) joining the film in the role of Gale Hawthorne in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who it was recently announced will play heroine Katniss Everdeen.
Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.
Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.
What are your thoughts on Lionsgate’s casting of the film so far? Are you happy with it? Do you think they could have done better? Let us know in the comments!