Now that Jennifer Lawrence is locked in to play Katniss, the lead in the dystopian YA sensation that is The Hunger Games, Lionsgate has begun testing a fleet of strapping young men for the roles of Peeta and Gale, which will fill out the tale’s taut love triangle.
For the uninitiated: The Hunger Games is a YA novel by Suzanne Collins that centers on Katniss, an impoverished teen who illegally hunts along with her best friend Gale, a teen boy who broods like a man, to provide for her family. It’s Katniss’ survival skills and archery prowess that come in handy when she’s entered in the Hunger Games, a kill-or-be-killed battle that pits teens against each other. By her side on this journey is a blue-eyed baker’s son named Peeta, who seems too sweet to survive for long.
While we’ve reported that Alex Pettyfer, Hunter Parrish and Josh Hutcherson have all met with the film’s producers about the role of Peeta, Heat Vision now reports the search for Peeta is expanding – as is the search for Gale!
Testing for Peeta:
Josh Hutcherson – Best-known for his recent role in the Oscar-nominated family drama The Kids Are All Right, Hutcherson, with dark eyes and dark hair, doesn’t fit the book’s description of Peeta but he’s been the only candidate quoted whose shown a real passion for the books and the role of Peeta.
Hunter Parrish – Best-known as the marijuana-growing grouser on Showtime’s Weeds, Parish has gotten a lot of support online from the book’s fans, who think his long blonde locks and blue eyes make him the perfect Peeta.
Alexander Ludwig – Played a kid/alien in 2009’s Race to Witch Mountain, and while he doesn’t have many films to his credit, he’s got the look.
Lucas Till – You might not know this Texas-born actor yet, but you will soon. This summer he’ll appear as Alex Summers (A.K.A. Havok) in X-Men: First Class. He also appeared in the Hanna Montana movie.
Evan Peters – This dark horse has mostly TV roles to his credit, but moviegoers may recognize him as one of the wise-cracking friends in Kick-Ass.
Testing for Gale:
Liam Hemsworth – This burly young man recently starred opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song, and appeared in the gritty slasher flick Triangle.
David Henrie – He’s one of the Wizard of Waverly Place, but those of you who no longer tune into the Disney Channel might recognize him as the son on How I Met Your Mother.
Robbie Amell – Also appeared on HIMYM, his latest film credit was a straight to DVD Scooby-Doo movie called Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins.
Drew Roy – Another Miley Cyrus co-star, he played Jesse on the Hannah Montana TV show. He also appeared in last year’s Secretariat.
We’re told the search is much wider than this list lets on, so if you don’t see your pick here that’s not necessarily cause to fret. However, Alex Pettyfer is notably absent, and with Beastly failing to take off at the box office, it’s possible Pettyfer is no longer a hot prospect to producers.
For my part, I’m largely unfamiliar with the actors mentioned as possible Gales. My early pick for the part was Josh Hutcherson, but I’m growing to like the idea of him as Peeta. I know, I know – he’s not blonde, but my main concern for HG casting is that the producers pick talented actors and actresses to fill the roles from the book I love. If they are confined to only cast people who closely resemble the characters’ physical appearance, that’s a pretty harsh shackle to put on the creative process, isn’t it?
Having said that, have at it:
Who’s your perfect Peeta and ideal Gale?