This weekend, I finished Mockingjay, the third and final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I had to put the book down multiple times so I could cry and then, at the end, I cried again because it was all over and I couldn’t go back in time to when I hadn’t read them yet and start all over. What a great series. Seriously, if you haven’t read them, DO, and before the movie version of the first book comes out.
Speaking of, casting decisions for the film are readily being made…
Jennifer Lawrence was cast over a month ago as the story’s heroine, Katniss Everdeen, while it was announced a little over a week ago that Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will be playing Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, the two young men vying for her affection. And then this week, even more casting news! Elizabeth Banks is in as Effie Trinket, the Hunger Games escort for District 12, while relative unknowns Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi will be playing the pivotal roles of District 11 tributes Rue and Thresh. Also cast: Leven Rambin and Jack Quaid (son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan) as District 1 tributes Glimmer and Marvel.
That’s eight main characters cast in a movie that I suspect will be as popular as “Twilight.” And there are still so many amazing characters to cast! No worries, filmmakers, I shall help you! Below, I dream cast the roles of Haymitch Abernathy, Primrose Everdeen, Cinna, and President Snow. And please share your dream casting picks in the comments! (Please be careful to not reveal any major spoilers…)
A surly drunk, Haymitch won his year’s Hunger Games and is tasked with training Katniss and Peeta for theirs. It’s key that the role go to someone who can play detestable and likable with equal vigor. Obviously, a familiarity with alcohol abuse would come in handy. RDJ is my top pick, but I wouldn’t be upset if Bridges (who did the selfish, begrudging hero thing in “True Grit”), Laurie (who knows something about surly from playing “House”), or Hoffman (a more random but interesting suggestion from a friend) nabbed the role.
Katniss’ delicate, kindhearted little sister is originally chosen for the Games, but Katniss volunteers to go in her place. Katniss is such a badass, and Prim, while a contrast in terms of demeanor, has her own quiet strength. Two names being batted around for the role — lovely, innocent blondes Kiernan Shipka (Sally on “Mad Men”) and Elle Fanning. I can picture either of these actresses in the role and, frankly, couldn’t think of anyone else but them when I sat down to brainstorm this piece.
I had the hardest time figuring out who I pictured in the role of Cinna, the head designer who outfits Katniss for the Games. The character has a quiet, dependable kindness, despite the fact that he’s essentially designing costumes for Katniss to wear before and when she might die. Though he’s a fashion designer surrounded by a flamboyant prep crew, Cinna never comes off as gay, necessarily, though he’s not hyper masculine either. Hugh Dancy has been suggested by many fans for the role, while Entertainment Weekly likes Cillian Murphy. But I’m not entirely convinced either is right. Any ideas?
Snow is very minor character in “The Hunger Games,” but he plays a central role in the two sequels, which are sure to be made into films as well. Snow, among others things, is described as having thin, white hair, but far more important to me is that he comes off as insanely creepy and evil, especially since in the first book, he doesn’t even really have any dialogue — the way he looks needs to say lot. I’d go bananas if Anthony Hopkins brought a little Hannibal Lector to the role. And Malcolm McDowell has a cold-hearted steeliness that would work.