The main character for The Hunger Games has been cast. Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss Everdeen in the trilogy, the first film of which is set to be released next year. The speculation over who will play which character has been ongoing for some time now, but now that the casting has officially begun, it’s in full flow. I’ve got some mild opinions myself, but I’m trying to reserve them until I actually see the movie because, hey, I’m not a casting director.
But it’s hard to see a beloved book turn into a movie. Exciting too, of course (though I know some people who disagree with that assessment), but there’s always risk involved. I can no longer remember, for example, how I first pictured Frodo, or Harry Potter, or Lyra Belacqua, or Elizabeth Bennett, or Briony Tallis. Now, when I read those books, I see the actors instead of the portrait the author painted for. Of course, we like to see casting directors that use this vision in the casting, producers and directors that make it come alive once the cameras roll, but I think we all know that this doesn’t always (usually?) happen.
And then there’s the way the plot is shaped, tweaked, to make it fit the different medium. I’m not one of those people that stresses over every detail that is changed—I understand that putting a book on the screen verbatim would make for a boring production—but over time I sometimes find myself unable to remember exactly which things were brought in from the book and which were brought in for the film. (This actually happened earlier tonight, when my sister made a comment about a different piece of work, and I had to remind her that the book actually contradicted her statement exactly.)
I’m excited to see this book on the big screen, I really am. But I’m nervous too. I know, though, that no matter what I’ll see it, and most likely buy it when it comes out. But until then, I’ve got over a year of waiting, and wondering.