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Miss Info: Like all my girlfriends, I’m unhealthily obsessed with The Hunger Games book trilogy. I had no interest when they were all reading cheesy chick lit: “fab” city women with amazing shoe collections looking for variations on Mr. Big….Bah humbug. But these days, I can’t get enough of the new heroine trend: bad-ass female protagonists, sci-fi plots, violence, action, dystopian soul-oppressing societies, and of course, agonizing doomed love. Sure, most of it is categorized as “young adult” fiction, but when done right, the only thing you miss is the Harlequin Romance-style “throbbing manhood” references. Which is to say…I don’t miss that at all, lol.

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Now that the Twilight series has turned into a blockbusting dryhumping teen movie franchise…all eyes are on The Hunger Games adaptation. Suzanne Collins’ 3-book series is about poor teens who are forced into an elimination death match, killing each other off like Battle Royale, while rich, brainwashed elite society bet on who will survive. In a fascinating interview with the NYTimes, Collins said: “I don’t write about adolescence. I write about war. For adolescents.” I think this series is waay better than the Twilight tomes, but I’m already a bit leery about which pretty young things will play my favorite characters….

The breakout star of redneck manhunt movie Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence (above, via GQ) seems perfect for the reluctant survivalist heroine Katniss Everdeen….but what about her crucial castmates? The elfin kid from The Kids Are Alright and that big lug who’s always sucking face with Miley Cyrus?

Plus a Hollywood powerkid, a “30 Rock” staple, a “Grey’s Anatomy” brat and more….
Check out the Hunger Games cast so far…Love it or Hate it?
(*UPDATED: 4/22/11 Haymitch and Katniss’ Mom castings…)
See after the jump…

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(left to right: Josh Hutcherson aka Peeta, Jennifer Lawrence aka Katniss, Liam Hemsworth aka Gale)

The Twilight series started out with a crap director, but great casting…When Hunger Games starts shooting in May, it’ll have Director Gary Ross, who did Pleasantville and Seabiscuit, and wrote Tales of Desperaux and Big. So hopefully they won’t have to dump him mid-series like Catherine Hardwicke. But aside from relative veteran Elizabeth Banks, this cast reeks of cheesy hugging dream montages, Haley Williams soundtracks, and Billabong tie-ins.

1) Katniss Everdeen: Jennifer Lawrence, 20
*She already has an Oscar-nomination for her surly sad beauty in Winter’s Bone. This should take her to the next level. More so than than following Rebecca Romijn’s footsteps in the next X-Men.*
2) Prim Everdeen: Willow Shields (“In Plain Sight”)
3) Peeta Mellark: Josh Hutcherson, 19 (The Kids Are Alright, Cirque Du Freak)
*Peeta is supposed to the strong, heartbreaking son of a baker…this guy reminds me of Elijah Wood instead. smh*
4) Gale Hawthorne: Liam Hemsworth 21 (The Last Song, Knowing)
*Liam seems more brawn than finesse, but that will serve well in Part 3: Mockingjay. Plus: brother Chris Hemsworth, is the new Thor. Minus: Miley Cyrus’ wackjuice.*
5) Effie Trinket (chaperone): Elizabeth Banks (“30 Rock”, 40-Year-Old Virgin)
6) Rue, District 11 (agriculture): Amandla Stenberg (Why Did I Get Married Too?)
7) Thresh, District 11 (agriculture): Dayo Okeniyi (newcomer)
8 ) Marvel, District 1 (luxury): Jack Quaid (newcomer, son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan)
9) Glimmer, District 1 (luxury): Leven Rambin (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “All My Children”)

*UPDATED: 4/22/11
After all the debate about who should play Haymitch, there’s a pretty satisfying conclusion. Looks like John C. Reilly will play Katniss and Peeta’s belligerent drunkard Hunger Games coach. I think he’ll add a nice bit of comic relief. Did you see Cyrus? Full of awkward funny. And in the role of Katniss’ mom…Paula Malcomson. She was great in Deadwood as Al Swearengen’s tough whore, and also in Caprica, Sons of Anarchy etc.
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Robert Pattinson looks past Twilight in Vanity Fair April 2011 coverstory
New “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” trailer: Vamp x Girl x Dag threesome! Tree Porn!
LOL: Taylor Swift’s SNL Kanye jab < her SNL Twilight spoof
I wish I was at Comic-Con Pt2: “Alice in Wonderland,” James Cameron’s “Avatar,” “Sherlock Holmes,” etc