The Hunger Games finds its male leads

It’s official. Lionsgate has made the announcement that Josh Hutcherson will play Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games and will be joined by Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne.

We reported yesterday that these two strapping young lads were rumoured to be the frontrunners, and they now officially join Jennifer Lawrence in one of the most anticipated films of 2012.

This is a great opportunity for all involved, but as the project begins to acquire Twilight comparisons, one can only hope director Gary Ross focuses on the action and dystopian elements and less so on the love triangle, as the novels managed to do – for at least the first book anyway.

Fan reactions have been mixed; many have taken to Twitter to voice their disappointment over the appointment of Josh Hutcherson, while most have declared their undying love for Liam Hemsworth as Gale. The fact is, the casting is off, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a wrong decision. Hutcherson and Hemsworth obviously showed they had something special in their auditions and we’ll just have to wait until March next year to find out what that is.

Discuss: Your thoughts on the casting of the three leads?

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