TheWrap.com reports that Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence will indeed take on the lead role of Katniss Everdeen in the film version of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.
The 20-year-old Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar for her fabulous work in the indie film Winter's Bone - and would in a fair world have handily beaten the over-rated Natalie Portman (GOD, Black Swan was stupid). Lawrence is four years too old for the part, but her work in Winter's Bone seems to indicate she can be a believable Katniss.
It's a great story: The young star of an indie movie gets nominated for an Oscar and then nabs the best teen role since Harry Potter. Katniss is the anti-Bella from Twilight. She doesn't sit around waiting for whichever handsome supernatural boy will save her. Katniss isn't really all that worried about boys at all (though there are a couple in the picture). She doesn't have time for moping or daydreaming. She's too busy trying to protect and feed her family and survive the Hunger Games, a tradition in her dystopian world in which teenagers from 12-18 must fight to the death on a reality TV show. And you thought things were tough on The Real Housewives of Miami.
The Hunger Games is a terrific book, worth reading even if you're an adult; its sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, form a trilogy that may at first seem violent and dark (and it is) but turns out to be a vivid condemnation of violence, war and reality TV (a sentiment close to my heart). You don't have to be a middle schooler to appreciate them; they're clearly written for a young adult audience, but absolutely absorbing as any grown-up sci fi you're likely to come across.
Some may argue that Lawrence is too sexy and gorgeous to play Katniss; if you only consider what she looked like at the Oscars, you'd have a point. It was stunning to see the Appalachian teenager from Winter's Bone looking like a Hollywood starlet. But remember, Katniss is actually gorgeous; she wows the TV audience when her stylists go to work on her, clean and wax her up and dress her in something other than the dirty hunting clothes she normally wears. The more I think about it, the more I think this is some seriously good casting.