Ending two weeks of heated speculation, The Wrap confirms that Winter’s Bone star Jennifer Lawrence has landed the coveted lead in Lionsgate’s adaptation of The Hunger Games, poised to become the next big-screen Twilight.
The 20-year-old Oscar nominee, who plays Mystique in Fox’s X-Men: First Class, was flagged last week by Deadline as the frontrunner for the much sought-after role, reportedly beating out True Grit‘s Hailee Steinfeld, Zombieland‘s Abigail Breslin and Sucker Punch‘s Emily Browning, among others.
Lawrence will star as Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of author Suzanne Collins’ popular young-adult science fiction trilogy set amid the post-apocalyptic ruins of North America, where children are selected by the government to fight to the death in a televised event.
E! Online also confirms that Weeds star Hunter Parrish is in talks to play Peeta Mellark, Katniss’ teammate and love interest. Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) are also said to be vying for the role.
Set for release on March 23, 2012, The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) from a script by Billy Ray (State of Play).
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