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Jennifer Lawrence Frontrunner for "Hunger Games," Josh Hutcherson Wants In

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jennifer Lawrence has wasted no time in leveraging her Oscar-nominated role in "Winter's Bone," positioning her self as the odds-on favorite to land the lead in one of the hottest upcoming tween tent poles. Now Josh Hutcherson is trying to elbow his way into being her leading man.

    Lawrence is all but signed to star as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games," reported Deadline on Friday. Two days later, Hutcherson told EW he was campaigning for the role of Peeta Mellark, Katniss' love interest.

    “I love Peeta. The character 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.”

    Hutcherson was very good in "The Kids Are All Right," holding his own among a cast of seasoned veterans, but failed in his bid to land the lead in "Spider-Man" reboot. He's currently in Austin promoting his horror-comedy "Detention" at SXSW.

    "The Beaver"

    [NATL] "The Beaver"
    Mel Gibson stars a man who tries to claw his way out of a pit of depression by communicating with others by way of a beaver hand puppet he found in a dumpster. Directed by Jodie Foster, who also co-stars alongside Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence and Cherry Jones. The film arrives in the spring of 2011.

    We haven't read the books on which this three-picture franchise is based, but Lawrence and Hutcherson would immediately make this infinitely more appealing than, say, "Twilight."

    Lawrence has a big year ahead of her, with roles in "The Beaver," "Like Crazy" (saw it at Sundance, she was great in a very small role with limited dialog) and "X-Men First Class." Hutcherson will be seen in the "Red Dawn" remake, "Carmel" and a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" sequel.