Hutcherson and Hemsworth to Star in “Hunger Games”

Let's hope this doesn't cause the same kind of backlash as the Jennifer Lawrence announcement.

Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have been cast as Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively, in the upcoming adaptation of "The Hunger Games," reported Deadline.

Hutcherson gave a breakout performance in last year's indie hit "The Kids Are All Right," while Hemsworth is best known for his role opposite Miley Cyrus in "The Last Song" and for being little brother of Chris "Thor" Hemsworth.

Lawrence was cast recently in the lead role of Katniss, causing a small furor because her blonde locks and fair skin don't jibe with the character's olive skin and dark hair as described in the books.

We reached out to a friend who's a big "Hunger" fan for a first reaction:

yay! they cast two very good looking, utterly interchangeable guys!

Asked about whether they were racially appropriate, she had this to say:

gale is suppose to be darker and swarthy

peeta looks like he's suppose to

For those of you who don't keep up on your young adult fiction, here's how the press release described the characters:

Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.

Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.

"The Hunger Games" is due in theaters March 23, 2012.

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