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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hunger Games Movie Casting: Why Everyone Should Just Shut Up About It

I am a HUGE fan of The Hunger Games, like many of you are. I am one of the many people that are eagerly anticipating the film and all of the casting announcements. I, however, am not like many of the series fans that I've seen trolling the Hunger Games Facebook fan page. Many of these fans are insanely critical of every casting decision. I've seen at least six comments on each casting decision that sum up to "the series is ruined because of this actor," especially in response to the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. This is one of the reasons that people can't stand and make fun of fandoms. Obsessive intolerance.

I am not a casting director, screen writer, movie director or anything related to the movie making process. My guess is that neither are any of the Facebook trolls, blog writers/commenters or general fans of the series. So why, without any prior experience in film casting, would any of us profess to know what is best for the casting of a movie? How can any of us think we know who should be cast in any role when we haven't seen any of the actor's auditions, or even the list of the people who were trying to get the role? Chances are, the actor you envisioned to play Haymitch Abernathy never even expressed interest in the role (this is probably the case with my beloved Robert Downey Jr.), or the actress you wanted to play Katniss could have bombed her audition (I don't know how the fan faves Kaya Scoledario or Malese Jow did on their auditions, but it obviously wasn't good enough to win the roll), or any combination of things.

What really gets me is when fans say things like "Her hair is the wrong color! This movie is going to suck!" Think about it, folks. Do you think that the casting department would pick an actor for a role based on their hair color?! If they did, then the movie would totally suck. Casting is based on the talent of the actors and the chemistry between the characters that interact with each other. Jennifer Lawrence is an Oscar nominated actress who obviously has the chops to play Katniss. Woody Harrelson is an awesome actor who has proven himself in several films and is more than capable of playing Haymitch. Even Lenny Kravitz, who has limited acting experience, had to have shown something in his audition that made them think he was the best choice to play Cinna. They don't just cast people in movies willy-nilly and hope it sticks. These things are thought out and planned far more than what 13 year old fan girls do when they make a photo manip.

The point is, none of us are qualified to decide who is the best person to play a roll in a movie. None of us are qualified to decide whether or not the movie is ruined based on any of the casting. News flash: the movie isn't out yet. No one knows if it's good or bad because they aren't even finished making it. How about we let the casting people do their jobs and wait to see what happens? The same thing happened when they were casting Twilight, Harry Potter and all the other book-to-movie adaptations that have a solid fan base. Guess what? Those movies came out just fine, in spite of the fact that people thought the casting would ruin the movie. Remember the Replace Robert Pattinson online campaign? Now look at the Twilight franchise.

Fans of The Hunger Games, do us all a favor. Get over yourselves. You can't have your dream cast in a movie and have it be good. Let the professionals do their job and make your judgments when the film is finished.

I'll step off my soapbox now.

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