Hutcherson, Hemsworth Are “Hunger” Faves

Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson have emerged as the top contenders for the two male lead roles of Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark respectively in “The Hunger Games” film adaptation for Lionsgate reports Deadline.

The first in a planned trilogy based on the Suzanne Collins novel series, the story involves a young love triangle playing out against a dystopian future where North America has been divided into twelve oppressed districts. Each of the districts is forced to send tribute in the form of a boy and a girl to compete in a televised battle to the death once a year.

In the books Gale (Hemsworth), is the best friend from childhood of lead character Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Peeta (Hutcherson) is her love interest. The pair look to have beat out the likes of David Henrie, Robbie Amell, Drew Roy, Alexander Ludwig, Evan Peters, Hunter Parrish and Lucas Till for the hotly contended roles.

Production is scheduled to kick off shortly in order to reach the planned March 23rd 2012 release date.