‘Hunger Games’ Keeps Casting, But Does Anyone Care?

Anyone who frequents entertainment news sites knows that Lionsgate makes cast announcements about its upcoming ‘Hunger Games’ movie almost daily. Being based on a huge teen book series that rivals the ‘Twilight Saga’, this makes complete sense why Lionsgate would market the movie’s casting in such a manner. After all, fans are dying to know. But do we really need a press release every time a new actor is added to the line-up, especially totally unknown actors?

The first big announcement broke news that ‘Pleasantville‘ and ‘Seabiscuit‘ director Gary Ross would take the helm. Giving a potentially huge series to a relatively unknown director like Ross shook the faith of film-educated ‘Hunger Games’ fans.

Casting Jennifer Lawrence as lead character Katniss didn’t help much. Let’s be honest, how many teen ‘Hunger Games’ fans do you know who saw ‘Winter’s Bone‘? Are we to take it that film fans everywhere now have a reason to look forward to the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy, and that their love of the little-known Oscar-nominated actress has put the worry of the book-lovers to rest?

Since these announcements, we have been flooded by news of new cast members, most of them unknown children. When most of these small characters are going to die in the beginning of the series anyway, do we really need to clog our inboxes with two pages describing each new child that hasn’t a credit under his or her belt?

Aside from Ross and Lawrence, the only other castings worthy of announcements are those of Elizabeth Banks (‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno‘) and Stanley Tucci (‘Burlesque‘). Just because Liam Hemsworth starred in a Nicholas Sparks movie alongside Miley Cyrus doesn’t mean he has earned a press release of his own. The same goes for Josh Hutcherson and Wes Bentley. Hutcherson may have been in ‘The Kids Are All Right‘, but let us not forget that he was also in ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth‘ with Brendan Fraser. Bentley was in ‘American Beauty‘, but that was over a decade ago now. What has he done since then? ‘Jonah Hex‘.

Also receiving a press release of his own was Jack Quaid. Never heard of him? Of course not. He has never acted before. The only reason he received an announcement was because he is the son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. Let’s hope he has more Ryan DNA in him than Quaid DNA. Remember his uncle Randy? Little Jack has hazardous potential in his genes.

Being a fan of films, I love a good cast announcement – but only when it’s worth my time to open the attachment. Please, studios, don’t back-up my constantly flooding inbox with announcements of no-name kids making it in the big leagues. It just makes me jealous.


  1. Brandon Erwin

    I wouldn’t say these are really “Watered Down.” If anything the label “teen series” is a huge misconception. These books pack just as much violence as Battle Royale, but somehow pack even more emotion and heart. Aside from the first book, they get pretty brutal but never lose focus on the core story. I’m kinda excited.

  2. I’d be careful categorizing the fans of ‘Hunger Games’ as “teen fans”. I don’t think the Hunger Games crowd is the same as the ‘Twilight’ crowd. There may be some overlap between the audiences, but I can tell you that my wife who has seen ‘Winter’s Bone’ is very excited for Lawrence to be playing Katniss.

    I’ve never read the books, but I do know a bunch of adults that have read them and won’t have anything to do with the ‘Twilight’ books. From what I’ve gathered the Hunger Games books are much smarter than the ‘Twilight’ books.

  3. Has Luke read these books? They DON’T rival “Twilight” – at least not in terms of quality. In terms of quality they rival HARRY POTTER – they’re fantastic stories, and well written. They may fall into the “teen” genre, but I can’t remember the last teen series I read that delved into politics and revolution the way HUNGER GAMES does. I feel sorry for anyone who ignores these novels because they think “they’re for kids”.

    • No, I have never read them, but should have clarified that they rival ‘Twilight’ in popularity – not in content or quality.

      My wife HATES the ‘Twilight’ series. She tried reading the first book, but all of the amateur grammatical errors and soap opera dialogue and plot caused her to drop ’em only a few pages in. Now, she loves coming with me to the ‘Twilight’ press screenings so we can laugh at how the poor quality of writing has been adapted into poor filmmaking.