At long last, after seemingly endless debate, speculation and rumors, MTV News has received exclusive confirmation that Jennifer Lawrence has landed the highly coveted role of Katniss Everdeen in the big-screen adaptation of "The Hunger Games."
According to Lionsgate, the 20-year-old actress is a fitting choice due to her "meteoric ascent" to Hollywood stardom with her Oscar-nominated role in "Winter's Bone," to be followed by roles in Matthew Vaughn's "X Men: First Class" and "The Beaver," directed by Jodie Foster.
"Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins has already given Lawrence's casting her blessing, via a statement from the studio.
"Jennifer's just an incredible actress," Collins said. "So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave. I never thought we'd find somebody this perfect for the role. And I can't wait for everyone to see her play it."
Director Gary Ross also praised his lead actress: "I'm so excited to work with Jen and see her bring this character to life. Katniss requires a young actress with strength, depth, complexity, tenderness, and power. There are very few people alive who can bring that to a role. Jen brings it in spades. She's going to be an amazing Katniss."
The movie, based on Collins' dystopian best-seller about children forced to compete in a fight-to-the-death battle, is slated to hit theaters March 23, 2012.
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