×

Jennifer Lawrence eyeing ‘Hunger Games’

Thesp close to offer for Lionsgate franchise

Hollywood’s frantic search for the next “Twilight”-sized phenomenon now centers on Jennifer Lawrence, who’s first in line to play Katniss, the tomboyish heroine in the young-adult trilogy “Hunger Games.”

As Variety.com first reported Friday, Lawrence is close to an offer to play the lead in Lionsgate’s tentpole actioner. Gary Ross will direct from a script by Billy Ray and Suzanne Collins.

It’s another gritty role for Lawrence, who garnered a best actress Oscar nom for her turn as a strong-willed teen in “Winter’s Bone.” It’s also an indication that Lionsgate hopes “Games” can cross over to more mature auds; the 20-year-old thesp’s competition was mostly teens.

“Hunger Games,” based on the novel by Collins, is set in a dystopian future where a young woman joins a survival contest to save her community. Nina Jacobson is producing through her Color Force shingle, with the pic set to go into production sometime later in the year.

Popular on Variety

Variety first reported that there was strong interest in Lawrence, with Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin also in the mix. Age was a significant factor in the decision, as insiders told Variety that Ross and Lionsgate execs were weighing whether to play the role younger or older.

The choice of Lawrence (Steinfeld and Breslin are both 14) sets not only the tone of the picture, but bears upon the remaining key roles, specifically of Peeta, Katniss’ love interest.

Lawrence has not officially signed on to any other projects since her nomination. Thesp has been weighing offers, including Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” and may have had scheduling issues to settle before committing to “Hunger Games.”

Lawrence can next be seen in Fox’s “X-Men: First Class,” which opens on June 3. She just wrapped production on FilmNation thriller “House at the End of the Street.”

She is repped by CAA.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Parasite Movie

    'Parasite' Enjoys Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins

    Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win. The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade. In the seven days since the Academy [...]

  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Actor in Disney's 'Queen of Katwe,' Dies at 15

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, an actor who appeared in Disney’s biographical drama “Queen of Katwe,” has died, according to BBC and the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor. She was 15. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” [...]

  • James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz)

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Dominates Box Office With Mighty $57 Million Debut

    Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents’ Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation. “Sonic” is expected to earn $68-70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is even more notable [...]

  • Shaun the sheep

    How '80s Sci-Fi Films Inspired 'Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon'

    Shaun, everyone’s favorite sheep, is back, and this time he’s facing aliens and robots in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.” Directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan teamed together on this film for their first full-length collaboration. While the two have been working at Aardman Studios, Phelan’s background was as a story artist and Becher’s [...]

  • Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE

    Box Office: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Speeding to $65 Million Opening Weekend

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” is speeding to a $65 million opening at the North American box office this President’s Day weekend, according to estimates. Paramount’s action-adventure, based on the Sega video game character, had been pegged to generate $40-45 million prior to its launch. Should estimates hold, it could break the $54 million record set last [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content