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March 21, 2011  | by: Jaclyn Hendricks

Jennifer Lawrence

Fresh off her first Academy Award nomination for Winter’s Bone, 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence has been tapped to star in the upcoming, highly-anticipated adaptation of Hunger Games. Based off the series of novels by author Suzanne Collins, Lawrence will take on the main role of Katniss Everdeen, a complex young girl fighting to survive in a dangerous world. After beating out fellow actresses Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld for the role, Lawrence officially inked the deal last week, but does Lawrence have what it takes to play a fearless heroine?According to Collins, the mastermind behind the novels, she believes the rising star has exactly what it takes. “Jennifer’s just an incredible actress. So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave,” said Collins of Lawrence’s casting. “I never thought we’d find someone this perfect for the role.”

While Lawrence has received the stamp of approval from the author, her soon-to-be director, Gary Ross, had nothing but praise for his upcoming leading lady. “Katniss requires a young actress with strength, depth, complexity, tenderness and power,” said Ross. “There are very few people alive who can bring that to a role. Jen brings it in spades.” Ross further found that putting Lawrence in the role of Katniss “was the easiest casting decision I ever made in my life.”

While Lawrence’s casting is just the beginning for the sure-to-be blockbuster franchise, rumors are already circulating as to who will share the screen with the fiesty blonde. Though his flick I am Number Four is still in theaters, that hasn’t stopped British heartthrob Alex Pettyfer from eying up his next big role. The 20-year-old confirmed to Access Hollywood that he had met with producers for the flick, but is “still [waiting] to see a script.”

Although nothing is set in stone just yet, for fans of the thrilling novel series, be on the lookout for a casting announcement pertaining to Katniss’s love interest relatively soon. As for me, I’ll be sure to be hitting the refresh button on Variety’s homepage to see if and when the casting has been made official.

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