Abigail Breslin, Chloe Moretz, Kaya Scodelario, Lyndsy Fonseca, Kristen Stewart

Courtesy: NANETTE LEPORE; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Getty Image; Florian Seefried/Getty Images

Now that Twilight is almost over, will The Hunger Games movies fill the void for fans?
—Elliott, Connecticut, via the inbox

You speak of the upcoming book-to-film adaptation about a dystopian society that sends its children into annual outdoor cage matches to the death, yes?

Well, the pre-production rumors sure are as heated as they were in the days before Twilight hit the screen. But does all that anticipation necessarily equal a replacement to the vampire cult?

Let's start with the casting frenzy, which may or may not launch the next Kristen Stewart:

Kick-Ass actresses Chloe Moretz and Lyndsy Fonseca both have been floated as possible fits for protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Abigail Breslin is said to have her eye on the part of little sister Prim.

Along with Moretz and Fonseca, a British actress named Kaya Scodelario is supposedly in the running. All of them are more than capable—if not exactly the right color—and would surely captivate the frenzied fans of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games books.

But that's where the potential ends.

When it comes to fueling a mindless cult of epic proportion, Hunger Games simply lacks the right elements.

And by right elements I mean:

1. A boneless doormat of a female lead with about as much personality as a piece of cold mushroom ravioli. That's an important element, here. Without a colorless, flavorless female lead such as Bella Swan, girl readers have a hard time projecting themselves into the romance.

In The Hunger Games, we get Katniss Everdeen, a very well defined, strong character, who hunts with a bow and arrow, and who likely would be extremely underwhelmed at a brooding waste of space like Edward Cullen. That is, unless Edward knew how to trap squirrels and root for berries.

2. A super-strong, borderline stalker of a male lead. Again, a very important element. In the Twilight series, Edward essentially makes all the big decisions: That he and Bella will date, that he and Bella will go out to dinner, etc. The Hunger Games has a pair of very promising suitors for Katniss, but both of them know better than to try to spy on her while she's sleeping. That is, unless they're cruising for an arrow to the kneecap.

3. Overwrought romance. That's the entire point of all of the Twilight books—getting Bella and Edward together. But it isn't the center of The Hunger Games; the kids are too busy holding onto their vital organs to focus much on love.

4. Lead actors who always look sad and lonely, and who are secretly dating. That stuff is like catnip to a 14-year-old girl. Catnip! Not Katniss!

All that said, The Hunger Games is a rip-snorter of a book series, and one of most tightly plotted action stories we've seen in quite a while.

It will surely enjoy plenty of adoration at the box office. It just won't spur the zombielike following we've come to expect from your more extreme Twilight fan.

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