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Josh Hutcherson as Peeta? That Breaks My Heart

The rumors can now be put to rest. The role of Peeta Mellark, modern day Romeo—no, he’s better than Romeo, as far as heroes and compelling love interests go, right, ladies?—from Suzanne Collins’s brilliant Hunger Games series, now has a Hollywood star selected as his on-screen persona: young Josh Hutcherson. And as the absolute #1 fan of the series (okay, I’ve got to be among at least among the top 100; I’ve read all of the books several times, doodle Katniss, and even read HG fanfiction, for Peeta’s—er, Pete’s—sake) I am not happy about it.

I’ve heard rumors about him playing Peeta and dismissed them; he doesn’t have the right look or range for the role, I always said. I figured they’d be able to find some new guy—or even one of the up and coming teen starts—to play my favorite Hunger Games character. But to really choose him? I am just much less excited about the film than I was ten minutes ago, now that I know this. Normally I’m not all that big on adaptations from books to begin with, but with Collins at the helm of the screenplay I thought I might make an exception.

I’m not a Hutcherson fan. I’ve seen him in Bridge to Terabithia, the awful Cirque du Freak, Little Manhattan, and several other films. To be fair, I haven’t seen his latest performance in The Kids Are Alright just yet, though I hear it was pretty good. Having seen him in love with a girl in many of these films, I guess he could pull off the shy, lengthy crush that Peeta has had for Katniss all his life—but to see him as the stoic, self-sacrificing partner that he games makes him? I just can’t see it yet. If he can pull it off, more power to him—I just won’t get my hopes up.

I’ve also read that Hutcherson did not read Terabithia before he played that role; I can’t stand hearing news like that and I really hope he read this series before auditioning. He’s also starring in the remake of Red Dawn; why on Earth do we need a remake of Red Dawn again? If anything, they'd better make his eyes Peeta's trademark blue, at the very least.

Oh, and the guy from The Last Song is playing Gale, which is yet another not-very-impressive choice in my humble, obsessed fan opinion.

As far as Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss, well, that wasn’t my first choice, either (I was rooting for Hailey Steinfeld) but I’m not as disgruntled there. I have Winter’s Bone from Netflix here just waiting for me to watch it this weekend, and I’ve heard some pretty amazing things about her acting. Still, if this thing turns into a Twilight circus, I may just have to detach myself from the films completely.