'Hunger Games' Experts Weigh In On Jennifer Lawrence's Casting

'In 'Winter's Bone,' you can see that she can handle anything that's thrown at her,' Down With the Capitol's Theresa Morgan tells MTV News.

On Thursday, MTV News exclusively revealed that Jennifer Lawrence had landed the highly coveted role of Katniss Everdeen in the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' dystopian thriller "The Hunger Games."

The announcement capped months of speculation regarding who would enter the arena as District 12's female tribute. It seemed nearly every actress under the age of 25 had auditioned for the role, including fellow Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. Now that fans know Jennifer will carry Katniss' bow and arrow, reactions — largely mixed — have been flooding the internet.

The chief gripe from some is that the tall, blond 20-year-old doesn't resemble the novel's scrappy 16-year-old heroine described as olive-skinned and dark-haired.

"People are like, 'She shouldn't be Katniss because she looks wrong,' " said Mockingjay.net administrator Kimmy West. "Other people are telling them, 'Hey, acting is more important, and she's an amazing actress, so we should keep our minds open for the movie.' "

To wit, many Jennifer supporters cite the actress' performance in the Oscar-nominated "Winter's Bone" as reason enough for her to take up residence in Panem.

"She's extremely talented," said Down With the Capitol administrator Theresa Morgan. "In 'Winter's Bone,' you can see that she can handle anything that's thrown at her."

Age is also a factor working in Jennifer's favor. Though she's four years older than the novel's heroine, The Hob administrator Megan Scott said an older actress is needed to portray the older-than-her-years Katniss.

"Some people don't like it that she's a little bit older. Personally, I think it's great," Scott said. "I think she needs to bring maturity to the role."

The fact that the novel's author gave Jennifer her seal of approval has assured many fans that the fate of "The Hunger Games" is in good hands.

"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."

And, as many YA enthusiasts may recall, fans were initially hesitant to accept Robert Pattinson in the role of "Twilight" leading man Edward Cullen, and now Twilighters can't imagine anyone else as their vampire hero. The true test will come when "The Hunger Games" hits theaters March 23, 2012.

What do you think about Jennifer playing Katniss in "The Hunger Games"? Tell us in the comments below!

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