Based on the ever-popular novel by Suzanne Collins, casting for ‘The Hunger Games’ is now complete! According to Deadline, male casting is now closed.  It was reported that Liam Hemsworth has won the part of Gale Hawthorne, and Josh Hutcherson secured the role of Peeta Mellark. 
Both of these roles have been hotly contested, which no doubt contributed as to why casting took as long as it is.

During the process, fans of the book were ‘hungry’ to see who gets cast as their favorite characters and many of them seem quite satisfied with Liongate’s decision.

In fact, Lionsgate shared this press release recently:

Lionsgate and the filmmakers of ‘The Hunger Games’are pleased to announce that actor Josh Hutcherson (‘The Kids Are All Right’) has been cast in the role of Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth (‘The Last Song’) joining the film in the role of Gale Hawthorne in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who it was recently announced will play heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.

Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.

‘The Hunger Games’will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of science fiction/action novels which have developed a global following.

The movie is scheduled to be released on or around March 23, 2012.