So I go on an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere vacation and come back to find that Lionsgate has cast the two lead male roles in its adaptation of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. And it's a good news, bad news kind of situation.
Josh Hutcherson (at right) of The Kids Are All Right will play Peeta, heroine Katniss Everdeen's fellow District 12 contestant in the deadly games (Katniss, as everyone on the planet knows, will be played by Jennifer Lawrence of Winter's Bone). That's the good news.
Then there's the rest of it.
Liam Hemsworth (below) will play Gale, Katniss' childhood friend.
Not being 12, I'm not going to gripe about how Gale is supposed to be dark and Peeta blond, because there's this new thing out called hair dye. But I do have a problem. If, like me, you were forced at gunpoint to sit through the dreadful Miley Cyrus movie The Last Song, you will recognize Hemsworth as her vapid if handsome love interest. You'll remember his looks because you will definitely want to forget his acting ability, which is minimal. Although to be sure, he was not any worse than Cyrus, who was an embarrassment in that film; how she ever became a star is a mystery to me, Party in the USA notwithstanding.
I have to believe producers will give us a decent Haymitch, Katniss' drunken mentor. EW is lobbying hard for Robert Downey Jr., and in a brilliant twist, Kristin Chenoweth as Effie. But my reservations about this production have officially begun.