‘Hunger Games’ Movie News: Potential Directors Down To Three, Chloe Moretz Leading For Katniss Role

Now that the final installment of Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular trilogy “The Hunger Games” has hit bookstore shelves, the next big thing for her dystopian franchise is a movie adaption due in 2011. While nailing the casting of Katniss is one of our top concerns (more on that in a bit), it’s undeniable getting the right director to helm the project is crucial.

Deadline is reporting that the shortlist of director candidates is down to three: Gary Ross, Sam Mendes and David Slade. “Twilight” fans are well-acquainted with David’s work, as he most recently directed the franchise’s third installment, “Eclipse.” His sensibility seems most suited to the job, not only because of his experience with YA fiction, but also his deftness with epic battle scenes/fights, of which “Hunger Games” has its fair share. But we’ll admit it’s quite simplistic to say success with the “Twilight Saga” automatically guarantees success with “The Hunger Games.” Sure, they’re both YA novels with fantastical elements and a love triangle at their centers, but in the end, they are very different animals.

Fellow contenders Sam and Gary also have much playing in their favor. Sam has an eye for making dark material beautiful (think: “American Beauty”), while Gary’s films like “Pleasantville” and “Seabiscuit” embody a kind of storytelling that stays with its viewers for a long time.

It’s expected that Lionsgate, the studio behind the flick, will make a decision this week.

In casting news, USA Today is reporting that “Kick-Ass” star Chloe Moretz is in the lead for the role of Katniss. While Chloe wasn’t on our list to play the part of Katniss, she is a strong contender. I mean, how can we deny the heroine-building merits of having “Kick-Ass” on your resume? Our main concern is that Chloe might be too young for the role. Katniss is 16 years old when she steps into the arena for the first time, a full three years older than Miss Moretz. Even at 16, there’s a certain level of maturity inherent in Katniss that must be preserved and played out onscreen. Otherwise, how could we believe she’d take sister Prim’s place in the Games?

What do you think about the directors in the running for the role? Would Chloe make a good Katniss?