Insert “Profile Picture” Pun Here

or, Lionsgate Attempts to Appease Trailer-Hungry Fans.

On Thursday, there was much squealing and overexcited geek-outs within the Hunger Games fandom (or District 14, as I like to call it).  Why?  Because Lionsgate decided to come out of nowhere with eight new character posters for the movie, that’s why.

Perhaps inspired by the success of Panem October’s way of releasing the Panem ID cards for different characters through the medium of various websites, each character poster was officially unveiled at a different entertainment site.  But I won’t make you hunt down all those sites.  No, I’ll take care of that part and link you to all of the sources through this post.  Okay?  Good.

So.  Moving on.

My reactions to the posters?  Well, in general, I think they’re fantastic.  They really give a feel for what the movie and characters are going to be like.  To be honest, though, I would have loved to see Caesar Flickerman or Foxface included in the bunch as well.  (Who would have thought it would turn out to be the talk show host we’re all dying to finally see?)  Other than that, though, great job to Lionsgate on the lighting and such.  I love the darkness around the characters.

This is probably going to be a longer post, so look under the cut for my take on each poster!

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FinnickWatch 2013

Or, Yet Another Hunger Games Post.

I know that Gary Ross and co. have yet to finish filming The Hunger Games.  But, come on.  Do you really not expect the fandom to be clamoring for Finnick?  Especially since the release date for Catching Fire is already out.  Thus, many fan sites, from The Hob to Victor’s Village, have initiated what I will call FinnickWatch 2013.

Loving this artwork.

In the books, Finnick Odair is a sexy twenty-something victor from District 4.  He is described as having “famous sea green eyes,” as well as being “[t]all, athletic, with golden skin and bronze-colored hair” (Catching Fire, page 208).  He’s basically a dream boat, and all the women in the Capitol want him.  Beyond this, though, he is in love with a crazy girl, Annie Cresta, from his district, and he’s more complex than he seems.  It’s really no wonder Tributes are already taking down names and trying to see who would be best in the role.

I can’t talk about the nominees as eloquently as other sources can, so I’ll just link.  The main candidates were put up by this article, and most of the fandom seems to agree, with the single addition of Colton Haynes.

The interesting thing about these picks is a couple of them were fan favorites to be Peeta, back before Josh Hutcherson was cast.  I’m dubious about that, of course, because Peeta and Finnick are not at all alike.  But, hey, I don’t control the fandom.

Of course, I had to get in on the FinnickWatch action.  The above drawing of Finnick is just about spot-on for me.  If that was a real dude, I would be all, “cast him!”  But he’s not.  Keep in mind, too, that I haven’t seen any of the actual guys in a role.  So, going by looks, I have to see who best embodies the essence of Finnick.

Being from District 4, Finnick has spent his entire life swimming and fishing.  Growing up with that kind of daily regimen would have given him a lean, muscular body.  Furthermore, he won the Games when he was only 14, which is extremely young and proves that he must be very strong, as Katniss describes his victory and shows us that he won by brawn.  We have to keep that in mind when casting him.  In addition, I don’t picture his face as being soft at all.  Rather, it’s hard around the edges (while still being attractive, of course), and the actor who plays him must be able to portray someone who has been through the Games, been hardened and scarred by it, but can still be an emotional character when he needs to.

So who would I pick?  First of all, I have to accept the fact that no actor is going to be exactly like the perfect Finnick I have in my mind.  Going on looks alone, and with the choices already put forward, I’m going to have to go with Mr. Alex Pettyfer.  There’s just something about him that makes me think Finnick.  The article I linked to above said that they thought this actor wasn’t soft enough to play Peeta.  By the same reasoning, though, he’s golden to be Finnick Odair, heartbreaker.  He has that edgy look to him that, if played right, could really bring Finnick to life.

Don't you see it?

To completely please the fans, he might have to subject himself to a little hair dye, but that’s OK!  The people over on the Hunger Games set just LOVE hair dye!  It’s the answer to ALL THEIR CASTING PROBLEMS!

The only problem I have with him, though, is his age.  As I said above, Finnick is supposed to be in his mid-twenties, 24 exactly if this Wiki page is accurate.  Though I’m not completely sure about that.  I’ll have to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay again to be sure about his age and the year he won the Games.*

Alex Pettyfer, however, is 21, which puts him at the same age as Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, who of course play Katniss and Gale.  Katniss and Gale, in turn, are supposed to be sixteen and eighteen, respectively, which puts a pretty good gap between them and Finnick.  But if the actor playing Finnick is just as old as the kids, viewers are going to notice that.  He’ll look extremely young on-screen when compared to the people who actually are supposed to be young.

It’s for this reason, then, that I think Lionsgate should cast someone who is a bit older than 21.  Maybe 26 or 27 would do, though I don’t know of any actors who would fit the role at that age.  Perhaps as we get closer to the release of the first movie and the casting for the second, someone who truly fits the role will come forward and surprise us all.

I’m not saying that Pettyfer doesn’t fit the role.  I’m just talking about that age difference, and that will be a problem if a 21-year-old is cast.  Finnick will just look weird, too young to be a seasoned mentor.

So what do you guys think, fellow Tributes (if there are any of you out there)?  Do you agree with my choice?  Or would you rather choose someone like Hunter Parrish or Benjamin Stone?

This concludes today’s FinnickWatch 2012 update.  I’ll keep you posted when they finally do cast him.

Now a bit of other news…

Apparently the Mortal Instruments series is being made into a movie.  I tried to read the first book, but after a few pages it got really weird for me.  Recently, though, I’ve been questioning that line of thought.  I mean, if I’m as obsessed as I am with a series in which KIDS KILL EACH OTHER FOR ENTERTAINMENT, I shouldn’t be put off by anything, right?  Therefore, I’m willing to give the series another try.  Are any readers here Cassandra Clare fans?  What do you think about the movie?

Happy reading!

*Unless Suzanne Collins said this in an interview?  Could someone help me out here?

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Do You See It Now?

I’ve had a couple of conversations with friends of mine lately regarding actors in relation to the characters they portray.  And I want to get something straight here:

ACTOR.  DOES.  NOT.  EQUAL.  CHARACTER.

People have tried to convince me that this person:

…is essentially the same entity as this person:

…which is completely not true.  Daniel Radcliffe is not Harry Potter.  He is the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the films.  He is very good at it, yes, and he basically grew up with people recognizing him as Harry.  But that doesn’t mean he’s a wizard.  He didn’t fall off the face of the planet once they were done shooting the last movie.  He’s going on to do other things withing his acting career, none of them, I’m sure, having to do with Harry.

Another example.  I heard today that now that these were unleashed upon the world:

…someone can finally visualize the characters.  But doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of what readers put into books?  As readers, it’s our job to try and recreate in our minds what the characters and settings look like.  It feels like cheating to me if we just take for granted that the actors in the movies are EXACTLY what they “should” look like.  That ruins the fun!

Characters are not equivalent to the actors, or vice versa.*  And even though I admit I now see Bella Swan as looking like Kristen Stewart, I cannot stress enough how important it is in my mind that the two stay separate.  They are two different things.

This is bad for the actors as well.  Daniel Radcliffe, for instance, will probably never be able to be recognized for any other acting job, no matter how talented he becomes.  People will always see him as “the Harry Potter kid,” that adorable thirteen-year-old from the first movie.  That’s probably the best example of how in these super-big franchises, the actors almost always become equated with their biggest roles.**

And that’s just not good, especially if they’re trying to get away from that and do something new.

I guess all I’m trying to say is, use your imagination.  Try to come up with your own vision of a character, and don’t just wait for the movie to see what they look like.  If you just can’t imagine anything else but the actor, though, I guess you really can’t change that, can you?

So I suppose that’s an exception.

Just remember that they’re not the same person.

Happy reading!

*Although Jennifer Lawrence is pretty much EXACTLY what I pictured Katniss would look like.  She’s perfect.

**Poor Robert Pattinson gets the worst end of it; he’s both Edward Cullen AND Cedric Diggory.