If you haven't read The Hunger Games yet, you're missing out. The film, based on Suzanne Collins' fab trilogy, is the most hyped movie of 2012, easy.
If you're thinking it might be too Twilight-y for you, let us assure you it most definitely is not. And with production set to start this spring, the clock is ticking to cast Katniss Everdeen, the independent (and very kickass) 16-year-old heroine.
But have you heard about the scandal shaking Hollywood about the casting?
The Wall Street Journal had a fab article about the hunt to find the next big leading lady.
But one thing caught our attention.
Debra Zane, one of Hollywood's top casting directors, is in charge of casting the flick. On a website run by Breakdown Services, her staff posted the filmmakers' broad criteria for Katniss:
She should be Caucasian, between ages 15 and 20, who could portray someone "underfed but strong," and "naturally pretty underneath her tomboyishness."
If you've read the books, Katniss is described as having dark hair, olive skin, with gray eyes. True, when we read it we imagined the character to probably be Caucasian, but don't you think some of it was purposefully left open to interpretation?
Dedicated fan communities online sure have. They've debated over what exactly Katniss' ethnicity is for like, ever.
As Moviefone best phrased it, the question isn't, "Is Katniss white?" but "Could Katniss possibly be anything other than white?"
Sure, Katniss may be a Hailee Steinfeld type (after all, her grandfather was half black and Filipino), but we think the book still gives a wide range of interpretation for the casting process!
Plus, the lead heroine is athletic, not simply "underfed."
We say let's look outside of the Hollywood cookie cutter box!
But what do you guys think—is Katniss definitely white? Or should the studio be more open-minded?