Thursday, March 17, 2011

Casting Decisions: Should fans have a say?

With the recent casting news hitting the internet, I've seen a lot of debate over the choices Hollywood makes when adapting a book to movie.

Fans of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the protagonist Katniss Everdeen, and today they're facing excitement or disappointment at the news. Many are excited that Jennifer Lawrence has been chosen to play the strong, vibrant protagonist, while others complain that she's all wrong. Jennifer has blond hair, not brown. Blue eyes, not gray. And the 20 year old clearly gives Hollywood an advantage in filming, but results in a much more mature looking 16 year old.

Time and again we've seen Hollywood adapt books to movies in their own way, going for talent and name versus "true to the book" and perhaps a new face. But what is "true" when it comes to book adaptations?

I've often thought that no movie could possibly cast someone that can meet everyone's expectations, because we all picture our hero or heroine in our own way. The protagonist's actions as well as their looks create the image we have and feel for them, making it difficult for the reader to relate when someone else tries to paint their own picture.

But here's a question? With book readers making up a large portion of the movie-going fanbase (my own thoughts-mind you), would it be wise to take a poll ahead of time to ask fans what they think the most important thing is to readers when casting someone? Or is there no good solution, and readers should just accept the fact that the movie is just one person's viewpoint of the book and enjoy it for what it is?

Thoughts? Suggestions? Rants? :)

As for me...I can't wait to find out who is playing her two male counterparts. Mmmmmm.


  1. I remember how everyone was upset about Rob Patterson being cast as Edward, and a lot of people didn't like Taylor Lautner as Jacob. They got over it pretty fast! I think all is forgiven and forgotten if the performance is good. I, too, am looking forward to the rest of the casting!

  2. I had to click your link to see who Jennifer is, that's how in tune with Hollywood I am.

    Hair can be dyed, and people can wear colored contacts. The tough part with Katniss is going to be the attitude, and portraying so much of what is inner thought in the books.

    Also, I think big fans of any book will see the movie just to see what Hollywood's done with it, so they can praise or trash at leisure.

    So . . . I guess I'm saying no. Fans shouldn't be able to vote on who they want for a particular role.

  3. Like your post- obviously from the length of my response you gave me something to think about.

    We are a book reading family so when we go to movies based on books we love we go with the expectation there will be changes and we might be disappointed in some of the changes made. If we can set aside our impressions from the book and focus on the movie as a movie it is (usually) enjoyable.

    A positive note for Hunger Games is Susan Collins is a screenwriter and wrote the adaptation for the movie herself. She warned that for the sake of cinematography some things would have to change.

    Yes, actors can ware colored contacts but in Harry Potter, where the fact that Harry has his mother's green eyes is made such a big deal of in the book they don't have Daniel ware green contacts for the movie. This bugs my daughter to no end.

    Also, when we are immersed in the literary world and surround ourselves with people who read the it seems like a lot of movie goers are book readers. My experience has been the opposite. Very few people I talk with at church, in the community or even my extended family have read the book before seeing the movie. If fact when I tell them how much better the book was than the movie they are still not interested in reading it. Sad.



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