Though filming of “The Hunger Games” has been shrouded in secrecy, Lionsgate in conjunction with Entertainment Weekly have at last revealed official photos of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as the film’s two male leads – Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne.
Though the series’ heroine Katniss Everdeen is vehemently against the idea of falling in love and having a boyfriend, throughout the series she finds herself inexplicably torn between these two young men.
Gale is described as Katniss’ best friend, hunting partner and confidante, the only person with whom she feels she can be herself. Whilst it is implied that he is attractive, Katniss is adamant that their relationship is purely platonic – though she later finds herself questioning whether she has feelings for him that run far deeper.
Her fellow Hunger Games tribute from District 12, Peeta is the handsome baker’s son who announces in front of the entirety of Panem that he has loved her for years. Initially, Katniss is embarrassed by Peeta’s display of emotion, but soon finds herself drawn to him throughout her journey through the Games as they fight for survival.
The images released by Entertainment Weekly show the two young men on the cover of this week’s issue, Katniss and Gale in the woods together, Peeta in front of his parent’s bakery and both of them in what appears to be a forest. For the first time, fans can see Hutcherson’s newly-blonde hair and broad-shouldered frame, whilst Hemsworth has become darker and somewhat leaner to play the role of Gale.
The Hunger Games is set for release on the 23rd March 2012