The Hunger Games – not yet in production and already causing controverty

5 Mar

Slate has an article today called “Casting Katniss“.  For those of you who don’t  read young adult fantasy books (and why oh why don’t you?), Katniss Everdeen is the main character of The Hunger Games, a recently completed YA trilogy by Susan Collins.

While not original (it has all the basic bildungsroman tropes.  Dead father?  Check.  Kid send on a mission with no one else to rely on?  Check.  The weight of the world resting on the outcome of that mission?  Check.), it’s a fast and thoroughly enjoyable read.  Katniss is a female Harry Potter.  A Bella with a sense of agency and self worth.  (My thoughts on Bella and Twilight shall wait for another time…)  In all – she’s a pretty kick ass heroine.

So, now they’re searching for an actress to play our beloved heroine in the movie version.  (Why does there always have to be a movie version?)  And the drama is all about what race the actress should be.  Maybe it’s my privilege showing, but I didn’t consider Katniss’s race at all when I read the books.  She’s described as having dark hair, but her mom and sister are blonde.  I guess I thought she kind of looked like she was from Italy, if I had to pick somewhere.  But, apparently because her race was never specifically defined, fans of the series came up with very different ideas about what she looks like.  (Really this is one of the best parts of fiction, being able to read into it, and bring to it, whatever you like.  To see yourself in the character.)  This is the Blaise Zabini business all over again.  But, I don’t think Blaise was ever shown in the movies.  Was he?

Apparently Jennifer Lawrence of Winter’s Bone is the lead candidate right now, and she’s as blonde as blonde can be.  Maybe they’ll dye her hair?

While reading the books, the only character that I could clearly picture was Prim, Katniss’s little sister.  In my head she was Pim, Phil’s little sister from Phil of the Future.  Maybe it was just because the names were so similar…

Anyway, if you haven’t read the books, they’re great to lose yourself in.  And, read them before the movie comes out.  That way you, too, can complain about the casting decisions.

 

 

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