With Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth joining Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games movie adaptation, all three vertices are now in place. To those who haven’t yet read Hunger Games (what are you waiting for, the movie?), Katniss, Peeta, and Gale are the series’ equivalent of Andie, Blane, and Duckie, except, you know, fighting other teenagers to the death instead of going to prom. But just because they are at the center of the story doesn’t mean they’re the only characters fans are interested in casting. (Actually, one of the best aspects of Suzanne Collins’ books is that there is so much going on beyond the Team This and Team That mooning and fawning.)
Moving onto the next tier of roles, we have Haymitch, Effie, and Prim — three prime spots that still need to be filled. Haymitch is Katniss and Peeta’s mentor, a former tribute who drinks like an alcoholic fish. I’m guessing they’re going to go for a respectable actor who can simultaneously play inebriated and lovable, maybe someone along the lines of Robert Downey Jr., Jeffrey Dean Morgan, or Hugh Laurie. I’m not sure whether RDJ has the time to join up with yet another franchise, but after his drink-tastic turn in Zodiac (not to mention having his own personal travails to draw from), it’s hard to argue he wouldn’t be pretty great for the role.
Effie is just about the only character that fans seem to be nearly unanimous about, and I totally get how Kristin Chenoweth would be perfect as the bubbly, totally Capitol escort, but for some reason I keep seeing fellow blonde Elizabeth Banks in my mind’s eye. It might be because I tend to view Effie as more of an antagonist than some readers. Sure, she helps out once in a while, but at her heart, she’s self-centered, callous, and actively engaged in a vast mechanism designed to kill innocent people. It’s not even that she’s just following orders, but that she’s following them so gleefully. Chenoweth has the glee part down, but I don’t quite see that undercurrent of malice in her. Is it just me? Eh, probably. Finally there’s Prim, Katniss’ sister. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up being the consolation prize for one of the younger actresses who didn’t get to play the Girl on Fire, or perhaps even given to someone like Elle Fanning. (EW’s Karen Valby does, however, have another young promising actress in mind: Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka, a.k.a. Sally Draper.)
What do you good folks think? Now that we have our three leads, who should be tapped to fill out the cast? Tell us who should play these three, and why I’m totally wrong about Chenoweth.