March 3, 2011 | Posted by Lindsey Young
Yesterday, the word spread like wildfire that Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) was the frontrunner to play Katniss Everdeen in the highly anticipated film adaptation of “The Hunger Games.” Following that report, Variety posted that fellow Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) was still in pursuit of the role, as was Abigail Breslin (“Zombieland”, “Little Miss Sunshine”). Today, EW is reporting that Lionsgate has exclusively confirmed about 30 actresses have either met or read for the role. These actresses include the aforementioned Lawrence, Steinfeld, and Breslin, but also added to the mix are a few new names and some names that have been tossed around before including Chloë Moretz, Lyndsy Fonseca, Kaya Scodelario, Saoirse Ronan, Emily Browning, Shailene Woodley, and Emma Roberts.
So what’s up, Lionsgate? Just when we thought that they were finally closing in on an actress to play the bow and arrow-wielding heroine, it seems that the casting pool has opened up again—and quite vastly, I might add. What is especially interesting is the range of actresses that are being considered. Not too long ago, casting director Debra Zane stated that they were open to unknown actresses. Zane’s office was also tracking potential actresses online via Breakdown Services.
Fan favourites and speculative articles have never been quick to leave out any actresses regardless of appearance or age, but now that there is actual confirmation of certain actresses having read for the roles, a question begging to be asked is what exactly is Lionsgate looking (and waiting) for? The list of reported actresses range from Oscar-nominees to tv series regulars to huge Hollywood names, and perhaps most notably the actresses range from the ages of 14-23. If this is the case, perhaps there is still hope for a few actresses we mention in our “Casting Katniss Everdeen” feature.
However, it must be said. Maybe all of these names are simply being thrown around to deter the public away from Lawrence’s all-too-telling red carpet interview in which her mom may have prematurely hinted that “The Hunger Games” was her daughter’s next project. As we observed yesterday, judging from Lawrence’s reaction to her mom’s slip of the tongue, this project could definitely be the “big break” she referred to in her interview with Ryan Seacrest. It certainly makes sense for Lionsgate to want to cover it up until anything (or everything) is finalized.
It feels like we’ve been saying this forever, but with filming scheduled to begin in a couple of months and a release date set in stone, an announcement will soon have to be made and Katniss will be cast once and for all. Come on, the clock is ticking!