After months and months of breathless fan speculation, The Hunger Games has its Katniss Everdeen.
According to The Wrap, it will be Jennifer Lawrence, who would appear to have the monopoly on badass chicks this year. (She’s also playing Mystique in X-Men: First Class.) Lawrence’s name has been bandied about for awhile, but it’s only become official as of today.
I haven’t read The Hunger Games. Many respectable people tell me it’s good, so it’s not out of disdain, but time. I know it’s set in a post-apocalyptic future where teenagers are forced to fight for food and survival for the amusement of the masses. Katniss survives and thrives in the arena, and her Spartacus-like defiance makes her a symbol of hope, and a target for the authorities.
Lawrence, despite her obvious talent, has been an unpopular pick. She’s too old for the role, though that was probably to be expected. She’s also physically unsuited for the part, as Katniss is olive skinned and dark-haired. There’s been a lot of cries of white-washing, though to be fair, her book description is only vaguely and cautiously ethnic. Hair dye and bronzer can essentially do the trick.
Many have also remarked that the role isn’t a huge departure from Winter’s Bone, which also saw Lawrence playing a teenager who was trying to feed and save her family. I certainly don’t want to see Lawrence typecast herself, but I’m not sure it’s a real danger yet. Few in Hunger Games’ demographic have seen Winter’s Bone (though that may change — I hope so!), and even so, the worlds they portray are wildly different.
Still, I was rooting for Hailee Steinfeld, just because she was an avowed fan of the books, she was a physical match for the character, and it would have been cool to see her grab another kick-ass role. You can’t have all the fun, Ms. Lawrence!
Well, there it is. Have at it, Hunger fans.