It's been a good year or two for tough girls on film. We had Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit , both of whom were feted at this weekend's Oscars. Chloë Moretz redeemed herself for appearing in the deplorable ( 500) Days of Summe r with her scene-stealing role as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass. And in a few weeks we'll see the debut of Sucker Punch , Zack Snyder's action-fantasy about five female teens who escape from an insane asylum.
But the most hotly anticipated bad-ass lass has got to be Katniss Everdeen. She's the heroine of
The Hunger Games
, Suzanne Collins' mega-selling YA series that's set to make its screen debut in 2012. (
's David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and I
discussed the series
last summer.) Now it seems the casting drama for that film is heating up: EW.com
that 30 actresses have "met or read for the role," including Lawrence, Steinfeld, and Moretz. Other contenders include Abigail Breslin, Saoirse Ronan,
star Emily Browning, and Lyndsy Fonseca (currently on
but probably better known to
longtime Brow Beat readers
as Ted's daughter on
How I Met Your Mother
Variety noted the day before that Lawrence has "generated the most interest" at Lionsgate, which on one hand makes me happy. Ree Dolly, her character in Winter's Bone , has the same grit, hardscrabble past, and allergy to cuteness that Katniss does. I'd be thrilled to watch her. But on the other hand, I'm sad that,
The Hunger Games are a major, missed opportunity for more diverse casting. Like the Harry Potter films before them, this franchise has a massive, built-in audience. As long as the performers are good and the directing is solid Cho Changs and Padma and Parvati Patils scampering about the margins of its deadly, Hieronymous Bosch -like arenas. But would it be too much to ask for a Katniss in color?and hell, maybe even if they aren't viewers will buy tickets in droves. I'm sure that, as in Airbender , many of the smaller, supporting roles will be cast with ethnic actors. Hunger Games will have its
Photograph of Jennifer Lawrence by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.