T-Minus One Year and Counting...

Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss Everdeen.
Just one year from today and we could be sitting in a movie theater (with or without our students) watching Katniss and Peeta come to life on the big screen! I don't know about you, but I am both excited and a little nervous about seeing The Hunger Games movie. Mostly excited. But nervous because very few of my favorite books ever satisfy me when they are played out in the movies.

For example, Twilight. Great book. Terrible movie (sorry fans, but the acting really stunk). And did it get better with New Moon? No. In fact, I think it was worse. I did find Eclipse to be a little better. But breaking up Breaking Dawn into two movies?? Seriously!? I mean, I just don't see how there will be enough material to do that. It's not like Harry Potter where there's plenty of scenes to choose from in order to break it up.

Another terrible movie made from a decent book is My Sister's Keeper. The ending really ticked me off but there were so many other changes I questioned that just didn't make sense. It's not like I really loved the book, so maybe that's why I really hated the movie.

 The Time Traveler's Wife was disappointing, as well. I really loved that book. But the movie left me...unsatisfied. I liked the actors and most of the changes were OK, but the final scene, again!!  Why mess up the end of the book, I ask!?  Why!?

So, besides the Harry Potter movies, I've been a little reluctant to get excited about novel-inspired movies lately. But there is hope. There are some really great role models. Some of my favorite movies-made-from-books include Gone With the Wind, The Outsiders, and The Joy Luck Club. And I shall include To Kill a Mockingbird. It is still good when comparing it to other movies-from-novels, but there are some parts that I really wish they hadn't changed because it defeated the author's purpose.

I know that Gary Ross will do a great job directing; he has already listened pretty well to fans and kept an open mind. Suzanne Collins is involved, which is great because it is her vision, ultimately, so having that source's input is never a negative for a movie. And the more I read/see/hear about Jennifer Lawrence, the more I really like her in the role as Katniss. To be honest, I could not picture anyone in either her role or Peeta's. So I do like that they selected someone mature who can act and who can pull off the toughness of Katniss, as well as the glamorous Katniss.Yep, Jennifer does have both qualities.

Josh Hutcherson should be Peeta.
OK, so the second most important role is Peeta and I do believe Josh Hutcherson would be a perfect compliment to Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss. Like I said, I really couldn't picture anyone until I had read that Josh was a contender. Then light bulbs went off and I thought, "YES!"  I really loved him in "Bridge to Terabithia" and "The Kids are Alright". And even though "Zathura" wasn't the greatest movie, I really liked him in that, too. He has that sweetness–a special quality as a person that you can't act or learn. You can just see it in him. A mixture of innocence and modesty. That is how I picture Peeta. So what if he doesn't have blond hair and blue eyes now? Plenty of people are able to change hair & eye color, so I'm sure Hollywood would have no problem helping him look the part.

So the other roles? I'm not sure. The voice I've always heard in my head for Haymitch has been that of Brian Doyle-Murray (think "Groundhog Day"). It's that scratchy, rough voice. I can totally hear him saying, "You got about as much charm as a dead slug." But he's probably too old. I also pictured Nick Nolte, but again, too old, probably. Robert Downey, Jr. could look the part, but his voice would need to be a little gruffer, I think. Haymitch isn't a big word-slurrer; he's just a rude drunk. The part shouldn't be overacted, which I could see someone like Downey doing. Now that Charlie Sheen is available, he may just be insane enough to pull off Haymitch.

So who would fit the bill for Gale or Prim? Those two I just don't know. Gale needs to be a tough guy; cocky and a little rough. Prim needs to be sweet and caring, petite. I really think Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch are the real stars in the series, so those are the ones that are the most important to cast correctly. The rest have minor roles (yes, even Gale's role really is minor until Mockingjay, but even then it's not as important as Peeta's, in my opinion).

A younger Josh Hutcherson...yes, that sweetness is definitely Peeta!
I just hope Alex Pettyfer is NOT cast as Peeta. That role is not right for him at all. Have him be Finnick or Cato...but please not Peeta!

Ok, so that is my two cents. Feel free to put your own two cents in the comment section. :)
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