‘The Hunger Games’ Finds Its Rue and Thresh

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:46 pm,

With the big three roles in The Hunger Games – Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) – having already been filled, the search is now on to find young actors and actresses to portray the additional “tributes” to the 74th annual incarnation of the titular competition in Gary Ross’ film adaptation.

Two of said supporting roles in Hunger Games have now been filled: those of District 11 residents Rue and Thresh, as will be portrayed by relative newcomers Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi.

EW has confirmed that these two will join Lawrence, Hutcherson, and Hemsworth for Hunger Games, which is based on the first novel in the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The plot unfolds in a dystopian future where the country Panem (formerly, North America) is run by a brutal government force known as the Capitol – a body that asserts it power over the people by holding the Hunger Games event on a yearly basis.

Both the muscular-and-powerful Thresh and quick-and-agile Rue becomes allies of Katniss at different points during the Hunger Games. The gladiatorial-style event pits two adolescents from each district of Panem (District 1, 2, etc.) against one another, until only one person is left standing. Needless to say, not every character introduced in the first Hunger Games story makes it out alive.

The Hunger Games movie image The Hunger Games Finds Its Rue and Thresh

Collins crafted fairly specific descriptions of each character in the original Hunger Games novel and Lawrence’s lack of resemblance to Katniss prompted enough of an outcry from fans that the author felt the need to publicly voice her approval of the casting decision. The casting of Stenberg and Okeniyi, however, should help to ease the concerns of fans who are worried the film adaptation will merely fill out its cast with caucasian stars – and ignore the diverse nature of the characters in Collins’ source material.

Hunger Games is being designed with a PG-13 Rating in mind, which won’t necessarily have a negative impact on the quality of the film. The story definitely has its share of graphic and harshly violent material – it is about underage people being forced to hunt down and kill one another, after all – but that subject matter can certainly be handled in a tasteful but effective manner that doesn’t weaken the purpose or meaning behind Collins’ creation.

Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) has proven himself to be a capable filmmaker so far, and he seems a good fit to handle the difficult nature of Hunger Games. The movie certainly reads as promising on paper, and it would be a refreshing change of pace for those of us who immediately think Twilight when we hear the phrase “film adaptation of a popular young adult novel.”

The Hunger Games is scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 23rd, 2012.

Source: EW

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  1. Yes. A great idea. Make the tributes from the agricultural district black. And then make them swing around in trees looking for fruit. Thaaat’s not racist.

    And yes, I realize that they were dark-skinned in the books, which is no less ridiculous.


    • katniss does all those things too.


    • The background of parts of this website are black – that MUST have some sort of racist connotation to it – I think you’re on to something.


      • Hah, okay. I see your point and I am aware of all of the stupid claims that people can make based on any one text. I think it is impossible to make it through college without having to sit through at least one ludicrous reading of Shakespeare or Mark Twain. But neither of you think the casting choices here are even a little insensitive? I suppose you could argue that giving little details such as, oh, in Rue’s district, the only saving grace for the workers is song, and that resonates because it’s historically familiar. And there is another article just below this one with people freely complaining that the story is being white washed by the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. But based on the casting of Rue, I am going to assume here that everyone in the capitol (all the bastards) are going to be played by whitie. Just like in Star Wars, just like in every other movie. It’s just tiring, that’s all.

        • Adam,

          First, props to you for coming back for a cogent discussion instead of a flame-fest, seriously. :)

          Honestly, I never thought about the color of anyone’s skin while reading Hunger Games – where was it indicated in the book that Katniss might be other than white? Regarding your comment about the capital, I certainly think that people from different races would be living their as the “elite.” Look at Washington D.C. – plenty of people in power from a wide cross-section and I’m sure those are the folks who would be the first to end up in the capital city of the story. 8)

          Best regards,


          • just to add, in catching fire, when katniss and peeta go to district 11, katniss describes as a PLANTATION like during the 1800s

    • i totally agree. im sure suzanne collins didn’t attempt to make the two tributes from the agricultural district black (seriously) this is funny (even though i am black) to tell you the truth. I didn’t pay too much attention to the fact that they were black and in the agricultural district. but now i realize and im kind of lolling a little bit. Anyways. I cried when Rue died in the book and i think they are decent enough to play the part

  2. Vic,

    I definitely had to reconsider the tone of my reply. I did not intend to start a squabble that would lead to a war and immediately after reading your reply, I recognized the fallacy in my complaint. If the tributes are all minorities, as standardized in the U.S., and the capitol people all white, then I take issue with that, but the reverse would be just as offensive. And mixing the races for the sake of being p.c. would be far more outrageous. So, I guess there is no pleasing me.
    It is actually mentioned early in the first book that Katniss and her father share a darker skin tone and dark hair that I have read some people are associating with a Mediterranean background, although it is never made exactly clear. Her mother, on the other hand, is from a slightly higher caste and therefore has fair skin and hair, traits that she has passed on to Prim.
    Since I read the books purely for entertainment, I tried to stifle any desire to nitpick. The description of Rue did not set off any warning bells until I saw this article. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a skin pigmentation.

  3. Katniss got whitewashed too though. THey’ve got some Barbie amazon playing a girl who is suppossed to scrawny and dark.

    • tara,

      I will say that my impression from the book is that while Katniss would look fairly attractive when “cleaned up,” she wasn’t a total hottie.


  4. I’m not displeased with Jennifer Lawrence’s casting for that reason. She is a great actress and has shown us twice that she can play emotionally damaged and downtrodden with vigor.

  5. Ok honestly, I am super upset about all three of the main characters. They are not NEAR the description in the series. But, many of the supporting characters are promising.

  6. I missed that. I would take that as a sign that Collins’s efforts were not accidentally implying what we have discussed. I wonder how it will fair when the general public gets a look.

  7. Wow I can’t wait until The Hunger Games comes out

    • I want to be in The hunger Games

  8. Shut the f*** up kristin