4:23 PM PDT 10/28/2011 by Rebecca Ford, Philiana Ng, Chris Godley
Lionsgate’s "The Hunger Games" won't open in theaters until March 2012, but fans got a taste for what the main characters will look like in the adventure epic from 8 posters for the film. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss, a 16-year-old girl who is forced to participate in an annual fight-to-the-death competition thrown by the government in the futuristic world of Panem.
Eight brand new posters were unveiled of the pivotal characters from Lionsgate's anticipated big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games book, slated for a March 23, 2012 release. The posters include new images for (from upper left, clockwise) Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Rue (Amandla Stenberg), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Effie (Elizabeth Banks), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Cato (Alexander Ludwig).
Jennifer Lawrence, who skyrocketed to fame after her role in Winter's Bone, takes on the lead in The Hunger Games as Katniss Everdeen, the young heroine whose life is threatened when she is forced to compete in the deadly annual competition. "Jennifer's just an incredible actress. So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave. I never though we'd find somebody this perfect for the role," said Suzanne Collins, the author of the books on which the movie is based.
Liam Hemsworth -- seen here on his official character one-sheet -- snagged the key role of Gale, Katniss' best friend and fellow hunter earlier this year. Before principal photography had finished on the film, Lionsgate was already buzzing about a film franchise. "The property is generating tremendous buzz and excitement, and it all points to a major Lionsgate franchise in the making," said CEO Jon Feltheimer in June.
Josh Hutcherson stars in The Hunger Games as Peeta Mellark, the other tribute from District 12. Along with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), he travels to the Capitol to compete in the annual fight-to-the-death competition. Hutcherson, who starred in The Kids Are All Right, beat out several other young Hollywood leading men for the coveted part.
Haymitch, the often-drunk mentor for Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), is played by Woody Harrelson. Haymitch was victorious in the 50th Hunger Games, more than two decades before Katniss’ own trial begins.
Lenny Kravitzjoined the film as Katniss' stylist Cinna, but admitted that he wasn't aware of the trilogy the movie was based on. "I hadn't read the book yet, so I didn't know what it was," Kravitz said at the time. But director Gary Ross was sold on Kravitz when he saw the musician-actor in another project. "When I saw Lenny's work in Precious, I was just knocked out. It was quiet and strong and understated and open-hearted: all qualities which define this character," Ross said.
Newcomer Amandla Stenberg plays Rue, the youngest tribute in The Hunger Games. Rue, from District 11, becomes allies with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) during the fight-to-the-death competition. Stenberg was recently seen in Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana.
Alexander Ludwig, seen here in profile in character as District 2 tribute Cato, was cast in the feature film in early May. District 2 tributes are a part of a group known as the “Careers,” often volunteering to participate in the deadly Hunger Games.