OFFICIAL: JOSH HUTCHERSON AND LIAM HEMSWORTH CAST AS PEETA AND GALE

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 4, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that actor Josh Hutcherson (THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT) has been cast in the role of Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth (THE LAST SONG) joining the film in the role of Gale Hawthorne in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who it was recently announced will play heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.

Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.

A while ago, Josh Hutcherson said: “[Peeta] is so much who I am–self deprecating, a people person. And he’d be such a great character to play! Like in the third book? Oh my God..” said Hutcherson.

“But they’re meeting a lot of people right now,” Hutcherson added. “One can only dream.” Well Josh, your dream just came true!