I guess this is what happens when Debra Zane's your casting director. Yes, Zane is responsible for some noteworthy work including 'Dreamgirls,' 'Catch Me If You Can,' 'American Beauty' and more, but apparently she's been tainted by 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.' First of all, the only similarity between 'Twilight' and 'The Hunger Games' is that both involve teens, brutality and romance. 'The Hunger Games' is a wildly different story that, in my opinion, has considerably more depth and is far more entertaining. Anyway, the point is, casting 'The Hunger Games' can't just be about pretty and popular faces; it has to be about raw talent.
Did any of the folks in charge see 'I Am Number Four'? Not only is the film itself quite terrible, but Pettyfer is terrible in it. The guy is incredibly flat. Even more surprising, did those folks heading 'The Hunger Games' see that film's box-office numbers? Why waste an excellent role on a potential heartthrob superstar when he doesn't even draw that much of a crowd?
Regardless, 'The Hunger Games' is a film that won't need famous faces; it has famous source material. Did anyone go to see the first 'Harry Potter' for Daniel Radcliffe? No, they went to see a beloved book brought to life. Well, the same will be true here, so why not track down some untapped or semi-tapped talent? There are tons of options. Why not go with one of these?
1. David Kross
Kross was my pick from way back when 'The Hunger Games' dream cast post went up. Having proven his ability in 'The Reader' and likely to do so further in 'War Horse,' he could offer the best of both worlds for 'The Hunger Games.' He's talented and a rising star. Plus, he's not too good looking. I'm not saying Kross is unattractive; Kross is handsome, but he's not model handsome like Pettyfer. Kross feels like a real person with heart.
2. Josh Hutcherson
We're moving up on the star meter with this one, but why not? The guy's good. Throw a little blond dye in his hair and he'd be perfect for the role. Plus, he's clearly on the hunt for a franchise. Sadly 'Cirque du Freak' didn't get much love back in 2009 and the 'Spider-Man' casting didn't work out in his favor, so it's about time Hutcherson gets his multi-picture deal ... that's not 'Journey to the Center of the Earth.'
3. Chord Overstreet
OK, I'm kind of contradicting myself in the pretty-boy department, but ever since Overstreet arrived on 'Glee,' it's tough not to hope to see him in more things. Clearly, he'd be far more of a long shot having only appeared in 'Glee,' a few other TV shows and one film, but he could be worth a shot.
4. William Moseley
Now here's a guy who got his franchise, but it didn't exactly pan out in the best way possible. The first 'Chronicles of Narnia' movie was certainly a winner, but it was followed by two weak, albeit somewhat entertaining, sequels. Why does that make Moseley deserving of this role? It doesn't, but his talent certainly does. Not only does Moseley look the part, but he's exemplified that he's got some acting chops, knows how to hold his own in an ensemble cast and brandish a weapon.
5. Jeremy Sumpter
Sumpter has "missed opportunity" written all over him. He snagged the leading role in P.J. Hogan's $100 million 'Peter Pan' remake and delivered a spot-on performance only to watch the film tank in theaters. Not only did the film deserve better, but so did Sumpter, and playing Peeta in 'The Hunger Games' could finally earn him the attention he deserves.
Again, these are just suggestions, and going with a total no-name is certainly an option. The main concern is that 'The Hunger Games' doesn't turn into a beauty contest. Who would you cast?