Despite the widespread success of the Hunger Games franchise, many fans, myself included, were left behind after a rather disappointing finale to what could have been one of the most epic cinematic trilogies of our time. So when it was announced that the producers were moving forward with a prequel to the originals, which would be called The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpentsmy first reaction was one of apprehension.
It’s safe to say the producers are going to have their work cut out if they want to revitalize the franchise and win people over, especially after the trilogy’s final two installments outraged fans, thanks in large part to a list of runs of inaccuracies from the books.
Take Peeta (the male lead), for example. In the books, Peeta is mauled by a wolf and has his leg amputated during the 74th edition of the Hunger Games competitions. For the rest of his life he was forced to walk with a prosthetic leg. However, this major plot point is entirely ignored in the films, which has angered some fans.
Additionally, many fans of the books were appalled by the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as the main character, Katniss Everdeen. Indeed, in the books, Katniss is described as having olive skin, black hair, and gray eyes, and her character is believed to be 16 years old. Jennifer Lawrence was 20 when the first movie came out, and she has blonde hair and blue eyes.
Additionally, American film critic Manohla Dargis was among those who noted the discrepancy between Lawrence’s body type and that of “waifish” Katniss, writing that “the actress’s seductive and feminine figure does not suit to a dystopian fantasy about people hungry for submission”. .”
Katniss Everdeen won’t appear in the new prequel at all, but given that Songbirds and snakes won’t hit theaters for another 14 months, I thought now was the best time to revisit the casting controversy that was at the heart of fan dissatisfaction with the film franchise.
I was inspired to explore a bit of alternate history and recast the role of Katniss to see if I could do a better job.
To help me in my mission, I went ahead and used Factune’s new AI fancast feature, which movie geeks have been having a blast with lately. Basically, you can enter the name of any actor or celebrity, choose from a large selection of movies, and choose that actor as the character in that movie, and Lightricks’ AI will generate an image of that person as character in this movie. Pretty neat stuff.
So let’s take a look at some of the actresses who I think could have done a better job than Lawrence as Katniss.
In my opinion, Steinfeld would have made a better Katniss, because she would have been more like the character portrayed in the books. She would have been 16 when the first Hunger Games movie was released, and what’s more, she’s mixed race, born to a Jewish father and a mother of European, Filipino, and African-American descent.
Also, according to lore, the actress was in contention to play the role but narrowly lost to Lawrence. When asked if he missed the role, she said, “There are so many parts that I wanted or didn’t get… But I think, weirdly, it’s the same feeling to have missed every high school dance and prom, and yet I somehow found my way to the Met Gala. I feel like I caught that. »
Emma Roberts, who is Julia Roberts’ niece, was another actress who was up for the role of Katniss but ultimately lost out to Lawrence.
Although she’s older to play the character (she would have been 21 when the first film came out), I think she could have brought a different level of maturity to the role. I think the AI-generated image turned out pretty well, don’t you think?
After receiving critical acclaim for her role in Little Miss SunBreslin was one of the most sought-after child actresses in Hollywood.
Born in 1996, I think she would have been the perfect age to play Katniss. Not to mention, she has also since shown off her acting prowess by playing big roles in dystopian films, such as zombieland and Ender’s game.
Good luck to anyone who can pronounce Saoirse Ronan’s name correctly, but I think she would have made a great Katniss. She would have been 18 when the movie came out, and I think she had the talent (and still has it) to pull off the role.
Also, with his softer yet resilient demeanor, Ronan may have brought a more sympathetic side to the character that would have been interesting to see. The AI-generated image here is a bit odd, but still compelling.
I don’t know about you, but Facetune’s portrayal of Shailene Woodley as Katniss is almost exactly how I imagined the character when I first read the books. While auditioning for the role, she herself admitted that it didn’t go so well and even told MTV that she thought Lawrence was the right woman for the job.
“Yeah, I definitely auditioned. It wasn’t, like, a big audition,” Shailene said. “But I think Jennifer Lawrence is perfect for this role. She’s so strong as a woman and one thing I really love about her is that I love when women live from their groins just to say they own their girl power and she totally does.
Last but not least, we have Emily Browning, who certainly looks like the role of Katniss, but couldn’t land the role. First of all, she is the oldest woman on this list. She would have been 23 at the time of production. Second, it looks like she bombed the audition after telling MTV she was nervous and hadn’t even read any of the books.
To be honest, I don’t know if she could have played the role as convincingly as some of the other actresses on this list. However, I think she would have brought a more mature layer to the character which could have worked well.
I can’t lie – even though the last two movies left a sour taste in my mouth, I’m still extremely excited for The Hunger Games prequel. With Peter Dinklage as Casca and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, I’m confident the cast will be able to do the source material justice.
However, there’s still a nagging feeling in my mind that Hollywood might screw it up, like they’ve done with so many other book-to-movie adaptations. Fingers crossed they don’t spoil this one too.