SXSW: 'Detention' star Josh Hutcherson wants to play some 'Hunger Games'

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Image Credit: Matt Carr/Getty Images

Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) is the star and producer of Joseph Kahn’s R-rated horror-time-travel-comedy Detention that will enjoy its world premiere this evening at SXSW. Detention, a slick-looking confection that pays homage to Scream as well as John Hughes’ greats like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, is one of the many buzz-heavy films riding into the festival hungry for distribution. Set in Grizzly Lake, a bubble of a suburb where high schoolers are obsessed with only their own little worlds, Hutcherson plays effortlessly cool kid Clapton Davis. “He’s the guy everybody wishes they were, who I wish I was,” says Hutcherson. “He gets all the girls. Nobody hates him because he gets along with everybody, except for the school jock because he stole his girlfriend inadvertently.”

Eighteen-year-old Hutcherson looked a little bleary-eyed in Austin. He’d just returned the night before from a 10-day shoot in Cuba for Benicio Del Toro’s directorial entry in a series of shorts called Seven Nights in Havana. He’s next attached to star in Neil Patrick Harris’ directorial debut Aaron & Sarah, an indie relationship comedy co-starring Emma Roberts about the shifting chemistry between two high school friends, which is tentatively scheduled to start shooting this summer. In the meantime, he’s waiting with bated breath along with the rest of young Hollywood for casting news on The Hunger Games. “I love Peeta,” he says of Katniss Everdeen’s dependable ally in Suzanne Collins’ riveting trilogy. “The character is so much who I am—self deprecating, a people person. And he’d be such a great character to play! Like in the third book? Oh my God.” (We’ll spare the uninitiated spoilers. But trust him; the character’s evolution would take an actor interesting places.)

Hutcherson reports that he’s read an old version of the script and has since had meetings with director Gary Ross. “But they’re meeting a lot of people right now,” he says. “One can only dream.”

Detention premieres this evening at SXSW.

Comments (140 total) Add your comment
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  • mary

    Dye his hair blonde and Josh will be PERFECT for Peeta!

    • Jenn

      Yes, he’d be great!

      • Petta Mellark Fan

        Totally

    • Thora

      Nope, my vote goes to Eddie Redmayne with the soulful eyes. This Josh kid is smart tho, he’s campaigning pretty shamelessly; that’s one way to get the part. But being so egotistical is the antithesis of Peeta, isn’t it?

    • Liz Lemon

      Completely disagree. He’s all wrong for Peeta. I can’t see him in any of the main roles, but I wouldn’t mind him being in the movie somewhere.
      I’m hoping they go for either Freddie Stroma or Hunter Parrish for the Peeta role. And Drew Roy or Escher Holloway for Gale. Ella Purnell, Sarah Bolger, or Saoirse Ronan for Katniss.

    • Deb

      He doesn’t have the coloring to be a blond, he will look ridiculous. and he’s shorter than Jennifer.

      • Jenna

        Only by half an inch -_- and at least Josh will be able to handle the emotional maturity peeta’s character will take

      • Bobby

        AND Peeta is supposed to be a lot taller then Katniss. They completely messed it up!!!

    • Lizzie

      Yes!!

    • Michiyo

      well you are right on! officially today, Josh is Peeta!!! and i agree. he’d be perfect. exactly how Peeta should look like. has a soft and strong look.

    • mia

      totally!!!!!!! i LOVE Peeta soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Petta Mellark Fan

        Me TOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        And josh is my FAAAAAAAAAVVVVVVVVv
        Actor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • deedeedragons

    He’s growing into a pretty good actor, not a Dakota Fanning level but getting there.

    • jj

      Eww, not even with a dye job. Hes a good actor but not right for the part. Better than that blond guy whos up for Peeta, but they can do better.

  • Mae

    NO! Hunter Parrish is the one and only Peeta!

    • mawhi

      AGREED. I love Josh Hutcherson love his work but just no. Hunter Parrish is my one and only as well.

  • Kmb

    Eh. I’m not completely sold on him as Peeta. Although I definitely prefer him over Alex Pettyfer. I still want Noel Fisher to play Peeta though. He’d be perfect.
    Also, it’s nice that people are finally pointing out the events of the third book. Whoever gets the role better be prepared for that. It’s not enough to just be blonde and a “nice guy” to play Peeta.

    • tipsy

      Anyone but Pettyfer. he has zero charisma and acting chops and is reportedly really awful stuck up person. Hollywood should stop forcing crap actors like that on us.

      • Kmb

        Yes! Thank you! I completely agree!

      • chocolateislove

        I totally agree! He was godawful in “I Am Number 4″ and I can’t stand that Hollywood is hyping him up the be the next big thing just because he’s ridiculously good-looking and starred in a few blockbusters.

      • m1

        I agree 100%. That Chris Pine-wannabe better not get cast as Peeta.

      • A-K87

        They won’t stop forcing these sort of ‘actors’ on everyone when these sort of pretty boys stop bringing in $500m per film (which is never).

      • Petta Mellark Fan

        I AGREE TOO i hate alex pettyfer

      • George

        Jordyn not a big Alex Pettyfer fan, huh? LOL My daughter loves him. I thuoght he was pretty good in the Alex Rider movie, but haven’t seen anything else that he’s been in yet. He just seems to Hollywood good-looking for Peeta, in my opinion.

      • Ebru

        OMG! The Hunger games Trailer looks amazing! Can’t wait for the movie. I’m going to try to see a few mveios next week. I loved the first Sherlock Holmes and looking forward to seeing the new one. I’m alos a big Mission Impossible fan, so i’ll see that one as well. Too many great books on my list for 2012!

  • Felix

    I want Jeremy Sumpter for Peeta. They wouldn’t have to change his hair at all!

  • JC

    Josh would be great, but my first choice for Peta is still Lucas Till.

  • d. casablancas

    I’d totally see that movie

  • Snsetblaze

    Was Peeta a blonde in the book? I don’t remember that. I do remember him being a physically large guy but not too large (moer from lifting baker’s flour bags). When I looked at Josh, I saw Gale, not Peeta (or even Finick in the later books though he might be too young since that character was in his 20s.)

    • Anne

      Yeah, he’s a blonde. Re-read the beginning of the book and you will see.

    • Asia

      I’m so excited to see who will play Finnick! I’m nervous since he’s suppose to be so great looking!! And I like Josh but he looks a bit young compared to Jen.. maybe makeup will fix that? Plus I’m nervous about the hair.

      • Miranda

        I think Garrett Hedlund would be a great Finnick. Just a though

  • Lex

    I’d LOVE to see him in The Hunger Games! He was great in The Kids are All Right, as was Mia Wasikowska (does anyone else think she’d be good as Madge, the girl who gave Katniss the mockingjay pin?). Also, NPH has a directorial debut coming up, and Hutcherson will be in it?!?! WIN.

    • Asia

      I think that girl that played Flora in Harry Potter would be a good Madge.

  • Brittany

    NOOOOOO!!!!! He would be a terrible Gale, and an even worse Peeta. If they cast him I will absolutely not watch the movie.

    • Kevin

      Woah. Whatever would Hollywood do with this potential megablockbuster if you’re not going to watch?

  • m1

    He should be Gale.

  • VeryCherry

    EW continues to promote Josh. He may be a good actor but he’s pretty far from the Peeta in the book(s) the film is reputedly based on. Blonde hair and blue eyes? Are they deliberately going out of their way to cast roles the polar opposite of their descriptions in the Hunger Games? First Katniss and now Peeta? The readers have developed an image and affinity with the characters as they were written.

    • ally

      i dont think so i can never remember what a character is supposed to look like. i think whether or not they get the personality right is a lot more important. so if they get the perfect actor to play peeta and it fits his character completely, i’m not going to complain if he has brown hair and a different eye color.

      • VeryCherry

        I think they should be able to accomplish both. The look, the acting, and the personality. That’s what the real “perfect actor” for the role would entail. They passed over many great candidates for the Harry Potter leads because they wanted to be faithful to how they were depicted in the books. No need to cram square pegs into round holes. It makes me wonder what else are they going to change? It’s difficult to transfer each and every detail from book to film. But they should at least make it look like they’re trying.

      • AB

        exactly. Looks are fluid, the person has to suit the characters’ personalities, the looks can be adapted. Would people rather see a perfect physical match and the actor have NOTHING in common with the character personally? I hope not, I would hate that. I don’t know this guy at all, but he’s got beautiful eyes and an expressive face. The casting directors take alot of things into consideration, not just “is he blond and blue eyed?” because that stuff is just superficial. Too bad alot of the readers of the books seem to be superficial too!

    • peeta

      I totally agree that with what you think is important but, katniss mentions his blue eyes all of the time and blonde curly hair is also important because im not sure if i will say this correctly but peetas light hair and eyes sets him away from the people of districs 12’s seam and he is light while gale has dark hair and grey eyes and he is a darker character so i feel like its a bit important to be partially superficial

    • jacklyn

      finally someone sees it. i feel like the casting director is purposely picking complete oppisites. josh may be a good actor but definitely 100% not for peeta. Peeta is tall, stocky, blonde, tan and blue eyes. and liam as gale? getting the scenes to match the book is important as well but theres no getting pass how this movie is slowly becoming a train wreck.

    • Boggel

      I’m trying to keep an open mind about it but hoeltsny I’ve been having a difficult time adjusting to the aging up of the characters. The casting is just another thing on top of that. Hemsworth didn’t do much for me in the Sparks movie but thankfully Gale isn’t quite as prevalent in the first book so I doubt he’ll have much impact.

  • Jasmine

    I can get behind this casting idea. Sure he’s not blonde, but who cares? He’s good, and that should matter more than natural blondness.

    • VeryCherry

      Many care and it does matter. For the same reason it mattered that Ron Weasley needed to be a redhead. Fans of Josh might not care but many HG fans do. Let him have a shot at Gale.

      • Mel

        I’m so confused. I thought they had this thing in our advanced society that could change hair and eye color… Sometimes even skin pigments. Right? Is that possible?

      • mila

        fred and george weren’t really red-heads…

      • Gabriel

        Wow, Liam is hot lol but seriously, hes going to make a great Gale. I can’t think of ohntaer actor better suited for the role. When I think Gale I think of Liam. As for Josh..well hes hot too but that’s kind of the problem. Peeta is supposed to radiate this approachable, sweet, kind, young at heart aura and Josh is the complete opposite lol his face is just too..sculpted (its hard to explain unless you actually read the books like me lol). Peeta has a kid like quality to him but hes supposed to be classically and timelessly gorgeous. Nick Jonas with colored contacts, yes. That’d be a great fit for the role. He looks and acts so innocent and when he talks, people listen. That’s what I think when i think of Peeta, and everyone, at least that i know and have seen write in comments, think the same.

    • Melokesm

      I can get past the not being a blonde thing but he is only 5’7. That is just waaay too short. Peeta is suppose to be large and lovable, not a small guy. Sorry but height is a hard thing to fix.

      • Krys

        I know that this is quite a bit after this was posted- but I have to say that height is not that big of deal- Tom Cruise is tiny compared to most of this co stars and I never realized how small he was until an interview. 5-7 isn’t that short- I think he will do a good job.

    • Petta Mellark Fan

      Omg I agree he is amazing i luv him and was siked when i heard he was playing my fav character in my fav book

    • Mmabo

      The Huger Games is one of my favorite books. You start out in the furtue Where America has divided up into a capitol and twelve other districts covering America. Every year there are The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is where one person is selected from each district to fight to the death and the winner is then famous. The Hunger Games happens because at one time all the districts rebelled against the capitol because the capitol gets all the riches. Because the capitol won the war they have The Hunger Games to show their superiority. brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced a futuristic novel every bit as good and as allegorically rich as Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies’ books. The main character is a girl in district 12 named Catniss. She has to go to The Hunger Games and while she is there she has many great fights and it is impossible to put down. She defeats all of the kids who train all there lives and volunteer to go and comes back famous. If you can read any book this is the one.

  • m.

    Josh Hutcherson would be a great Peeta!…and enough with the really silly …”oh I won’t see the film if so-so is cast!”…how dopey. Grow up. Good Luck, Josh!.

    • Lizzie

      I completely agree

    • Petta Mellark Fan

      U got that right!!!!!!!1 I LUV U JOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Auth

        That is EXACTLY how I imagined Peeta! I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a cathrcaer that fit my mental image of them so well. I never got a solid image of Gale, but this fits what little I could see. I guess Collins did a better job describing them than I realized.

  • Gabriela

    I do detect a trend here. Whoever retails hair dye in Hollywood will make a killing on this film. I expect next they’ll consider casting Macaulay Culkin for Gale and Will Smith for President Snow!

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