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Jennifer Lawrence has new heft in Hollywood

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Despite what the title may suggest, The Hunger Games has bumped Jennifer Lawrence into a higher weight class. With the success of her new franchise, the 21-year-old has become the kind of actress studios fight over. Case in point: Fox recently delayed filming on its X-Men: First Class sequel (in which Lawrence will return as Mystique) until January, avoiding a thorny scheduling conflict with Lionsgate, which starts production on the Hunger Games follow-up Catching Fire this fall. These arrangements aren’t unknown in Hollywood, but it’s a testament to Lawrence’s appeal that a major superhero film would change its start date based on a non-lead’s availability. This isn’t the first time Games director Gary Ross has seen this sort of rapid ascent for one of his young stars. ”When I worked on Pleasantville, Reese [Witherspoon] and Tobey [Maguire] were on their way up,” he told EW last month. ”You see these amazing young talents, but you also understand that talent is fragile, especially in the midst of something like this.” But Ross seems confident that Lawrence will be able to handle her newfound clout: ”She’s got a good head on her shoulders.”

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