Three young actresses, all Oscar nominated before they're old enough to legally drink, are now front runners for the hotly-sought after role of Katniss Everdeen in Lionsgate's Hunger Games. According to Variety, it's down to Jennifer Lawrence, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. Gary Ross is directing the adaptation of Suzanne Collins buzzed up bestseller about a girl who takes her younger sisters place in a televised death match known as the Hunger Games, an annual tribute to the dystopian Captiol that has subjugated various districts of the land.
Lionsgate is behind the adaptation that Billy Ray wrote. The film is due on March 23rd while production should begin in the summer. The source notes that whoever Ross casts in the Katniss role will have a significant effect on the rest of roster. In the novel, Everdeen is described as a woman between 15 and 20. Lawrence's iteration of the character would no doubt skew more mature as she's the eldest of the lot (at 20) while Steinfeld and Breslin, both 14, would give a younger take on the character.
I haven't personally read the book so I can't comment on who's best suited to portray Katniss, but one thing is for sure: like he role of Lisbeth Salander before it, Everdeen is now the most wanted character in Hollywood for young starlets. They all have displayed range well beyond their age in their respective careers, so this would be a tough call for any filmmaker or casting director in the industry. I'm sure that all three of these young ladies would hop in the ring to duke it out for the part like the kids in the Hunger Games do; maybe that's the best way to pick a winner.