Posted on 12:38 pm,
June 10, 2012

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The latest episode of Hunger Games Chat has arrived! Join us as we discuss the latest news (like the newly announced DVD/Blu-ray), the casting of Finnick, and more!

– Liam Hemsworth is engaged!
– The Hunger Games has a successful first Movie Awards run.
– Lionsgate predicts a $400 million international box office for Catching Fire – is it possible?
– The Hunger Games DVD/Blu-ray release date and features are announced. A worthy release?
– Casting Finnick: We run through the latest credible Finnick news and cast him ourself.
– Richard’s choice, perhaps unsurprisingly, is obscure.
– Tom Felton says he’s interested and goes out of his way to do so.
– A reader responds to the Foxface suicide theory.
– Why are schools taking The Hunger Games off summer reading lists?
– Is it a good idea that it’s being removed? What is the purpose of summer reading programs?

This episode's hosts: Andrew Sims, Richard Reid, Selina Wilken

  • Cassie Drake

    I just want to go on record saying that Richard is my favourite host ever. Ignore all them haters Richard! I look forward to episodes with you on them =)

  • Josh

    I think Ryan Reynolds should play finnick. He can do all the serious scenes(look at buried, amytaville horror & safe house) but also could play the cocky loveable carasmatic side of finnick (see van wilder, x- men wolverine and green lantern) I know he’s a bit older but so if Jennifer she’s older than 16 most characters are younger than the people who play them. He has the build for finnick and people know who he is and would like to go see him. Team Reynolds

    • Devon Chambers

      Incredibly too old, and in way too many movies. I’d prefer a fresher face, somebody more obscure. 

      • Josh

        He doesn’t look that old though ? I’d say he looks around 33/34 if I’m honest and finnick is going to need to look older than Katniss so the age difference is shown. If they get somebody 24/25 he’s only going to look aroun 18/19 next to Katniss and I agree he’s been in loads of movies which means the general public like ryan or he wouldn’t be in so many movies and this will draw a crowd to the cinema

  • Nicole

    Mugglecast and Hunger Games chat in the same day, you guys really don’t want me to revise do you? ;) haha, i don’t really mind…. 

  • Andrewrocks28

    u know its funny how u guys mention whether the hunger games should be read in school or not because in my grade .11 english class we read the first hunger games as one of are novels ,and we did get assignments like doing a charcter analysis and my whole class enjoyed reading it and did make us think.every one the class did very well !
    btw selina i think alex pettyfer is a perfect choice for finnick!
    i am also intersted in knowing your picks for johanna ,mine would Naya rivera or mila kunis

  • Matthew Potter

    Bronze is not ginger.

    • Gary65

      LOL everyone seems to forget that Edward Cullen is supposed to have bronze hair, according to the book. Does anyone think Robert Pattinson is, or should have been, ginger?

    • 7Starrchasers

      Bronze is not ginger but it’s not just BROWN either…its got red in it, so its definitely more redhead than brunette. 

  • Hungergames

    I think Finnick should play Drew Van Acker

  • belac889

    They might do a BD Live commentery on Blue-Ray like they did on HP and the Half-Blood Prince. (And Andrew my username sounds like be•lack•889)

  • Laurie

    While I don’t have a good enough knowledge of actors to choose one for Finnick, I do have to say I agree with Richard 100% on the Hunger Games’ worth as school reading. I am as a big a fan of the Hunger Games books as anyone, but I do not consider them literature that is meant to be analyzed for deeper meaning. My sister who is a high school freshman read the first HG book in her English class, and she had assignments on character analysis, but I felt that the HG books simply weren’t well written enough to merit analysis like that. It’s like Richard said, the writing of the Hunger Games is not at the same level as Shakespeare or Dickens. Yes, there are definitely themes of oppression, rebellion, and the dangers of materialism, but for me it was primarily just good entertainment. Excellent young adult fiction, but not literature of an academic nature.

    • Johannna

      what, then, defines ‘well-written’ and ‘literature’ for you?

  • Ceilidh Brennan

    MuggleCast and Hunger Games Chat new episodes on the same day? Thank you guys for making this Sunday evening bearable!

  • Allie Rose Mellark

    At my middle high school the book we all have to read is Hunger Games. It’s mandatory reading and I’m so happy.

  • akacj7

    i find it really funny, and refreshing actually, that richard and selina don’t know anything about miley cyrus. it makes me feel a little too involved in celebrity gossip… kind of like i’m from the captol, hmm??

    garret hedlund was in Country Strong and Tron: Legacy. you need to do some homework on him cause he’s legit, and i’d watch those movies in that order too.

    im feeling some ginger hate, and for the record i just don’t get it. why SHOULDN’T finnick have bronze hair as described in the book?? is there something wrong with that? if you google  images “bronze hair” it’s barely even red. i’m not a ginger, but i just dont get why people are so averse to it. 

    • Selina

      I love ginger hair (and/or bronze. Red shades in general). I just always pictured Finnick blonde.

  • Trel

    I would like Robert Ri’chard to play Finnick because district 4 is the fishing district so im thinking district 4 is in the Gulf coast area Louisiana area… So why not have robert who is a light skinned black man with green eyes and sun kissed tan colored skin like finnick he has an awesome body and hes a good actor. Did anyone else think he was black from his description.  Also i always thought Finnick was a southern pretty boy that has the intensity of a grown man on the prowl… very male lion and Joanna would be a lioness lol.

    • Trel


    • Trel

    • Trel


    • Gary65

      How many black men with blonde/bronze(whichever colour they use in the movie) do you know?

      • Trel

        hair coloring…in his younger years he had blonde hair and loads of people have hair color that isnt specific to their race loads of black guys have light brown hair close to auburn add some blonde high lights and low lights and there u have bronze so i dont see the point of your question

        • Gary65

          Definitely no hair colouring. This is Finnick. He hates the Capitol. The idea that he would augment his appearance in any way just to look better would be abhorrent to him.

          This is all beside the point that Finnick isn’t black.

          • Trel

            That your opinion that finnick isnt black and i wont go back and forth with you on that  in my opinion he is and with cinna being gone eventually why wouldnt they fill the that spot with another person of color and also i was talking about  that actor getting their hair colored like most of them do anyway

          • Gary65

            Ummmm……..what? Cinna dies so they have to have another black character to fill the void? The idea that they would degrade their choice of actor for Finnick so they could have a token black on the cast is a terrible idea(and also slightly racist).

            My point is that, if the actor is going to have any resemblance to how Suzanne Collins described him, then he can’t be black. And it would be very obvious that he had dyed his hair which, IMO, is not something Finnick would ever do.

            Just sayin’

          • Trel

            The cast of the hunger games  isnt diverse at all a sea of Caucasian people and 3 black characters  in the entire series that can be deemed racist, lenny kravitz can be deemed the token black person …your point is irrelevant and youre only using this to get attention… like i said in my opinion Finnick is black you dont have to like that period so stop trolling my comments… And Jennifer Lawrence isnt the spitting image of  Katniss… Woody H. damn sure isnt the haymitch from the books so your reasons make no sense…  The obvious absence of diversity in the books has never been an issue for my but youre becoming an issue because you cant let go of the fact that my OPINION IS MINE and you dont have to like it and there are loooooooooooooooooooooooooads of other people that agree with my opinion of finnick being another race than white…im done… MOVE ON!!!!

          • Temperance

            I agree with trel you are very arguementative it is just their opinion.

          • Trel

            Thank You Temperance!

          • Gary65

            Indeed it is. I am just expressing my opinion on his opinion. Discussion os the point of the Reply button. If we all just agreed all the time, life would be very boring.

  • Gary65

    Is Richard stoned? The Richard I know would despise Lindsay Lohan lol

    When it comes ridiculously good-looking men who can act and would make an excellent Finnick, I always thought of Matt Bomer or Chris Zylka(depending on which end of the 20s you want Finnick to be).

    • Quinn Minnesota

      Thank you Gary. Matt Bomer is the essence of Finnick in my head but as I pictured Finnick to be 24, Matt is a bit on the old side. Que sera sera…Age is just a number and people do creative casting all the time. I am not terribly invested in the casting of Finnick and at this point I think no matter who they cast is going to feel off to me.

      However, I am definitely in the Kristen Bell as Johanna camp.

      • Gary65

        Indeed. Age is meaningless. Woody Harrelson is a lot older than Haymitch is in the books and he was fantastic.

  • MillerT1

    As an up and coming high school English teacher, I’m starting to understand why certain books are chosen to study over others. I would say that Hunger Games is a good book to study for those in younger year levels (Year 9 or 10). In my opinion, Hunger Games is too easy for Year 12 even though it does touch on a few deep issues. I think books like 1984 are more appropriate for Year 12.

    • Trel

      I understand your point but why would it be ‘too easy’ for a 12th grader to be taught using The Hunger Games when It can be read in conjunction with another book such as 1984.  There are even college classes that use Harry Potter as a spring board for discussions on social commentary, political corruption, religious imagery etc.  I just don’t understand why literature geared towards an Adult is held at a higher standard and deemed “appropriate” but something that is geared towards young adults and/or children are lesser entities when it comes to academics. It’s like saying modern authors/lesser known classical authors; no matter the genre aren’t worthy of being used for educational purposes if there isn’t a “scholarly buzz” connected to it.  If Shakespeare was not deemed a “literary great” by scholars would any of us know of him and still learn his words?  It’s a very interesting debate…when you’re not being stifled by the GREATS, can you get the same educational knowledge that you would get if you weren’t constantly taught using their works.   4 years of high school and you learn from the same set of authors and you’re lucky if you get a teacher that thinks outside of the box and incorporates novels that are fun to read , that make you want to read, and in turn the teacher can challenge your intellect and critical thinking skills with the assignments that accompany he novels.

  • Courtney

    I still think that Grant Gustin would be an excellent Finnick. He looks like the Finnick in my head and I have faith in his acting ability (even if he really hasn’t had the opportunity to show much of it on Glee) to be able to pull of some of the more emotional scenes in Mockingjay.

    • Meg

      Why can’t he play Finnick? Did he pull out of it or something? When I read the books I imagined him…

  • 7Starrchasers

    Richard, Selina’s right…if there was a poll I would so choose Ciaran Hinds!

  • Dreamer

    Although I’d love to have Hunger Games on my summer reading list, I’d have to agree with Richard (again) on the matter. HG, while it has messages and morals, it’s not very challenging. After the first time I read it in middle school, I was able to pick up on all the social commentary and messages in it. Frankly, I thought they were obvious and not too original to write about, but the plot line was entertaining. I don’t know how it is in other schools, but when I have to write a literary analysis paper a lot of it has to be about writing techniques and how they emphasis the themes. On a purely technical level, HG isn’t that amazing. It’s fast passed and well written, but as Richard said, compared to Shakespeare or Melville it can’t compare. If I had spend a month worth of classes analyzing HG, I’d get bored pretty quickly because the isn’t enough material.

    I think it would be fine to give HG to elementary or middle school children as a fun book that they might have to write a one page report on but once you get into high school the reading material should be more challenging. Books you have to read for school (high school) should make you think hard about them, they should make you have to annotate, highlight, and reread. Like at my school we have to read In The Time of the Butterflies and Kite Runner. Compared to those book Hunger Games is like the little sister. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t complain if HG was a mandatory book but I think it’s a bit ridiculous to have it in a summer reading program if you’re in high school.

    Out of the three main contenders that were circling the rummor mills a while ago, I was rooting for Garret Hedlund though I’d be fine if they didn’t cast him. I though Armie Hammer just looked too… posh like selina said. From the pics on google he looked too much like a ‘nice guy’ rather than a ‘seductive guy’ but I’ve never seen Armie or Garett in any movies so I really don’t care that much. That third guy wasn’t even an option so I’m happy he was ruled out. I’m kinda hoping they find someone that hasn’t been mentioned a lot, an unknown. As for Joanna, I’m rooting for Kristen Bell until I hear of a better suggestion.

  • Trel

    When I was in high school 2001 -2005 we always had 3 books to read during the summer so i don’t see why the Hunger Games would be an issue for reading… In high school classes you read everything from fables to great plays and sonnets so you can learn how to develop critical thinking skills by finding the true meanings behind the words of a story or poem… Prime example Alice in Wonderland a children’s story that can be deemed not Worthy of a high school summer reading list and yet people still have in-depth eye opening conversations about the imagery and hidden meanings behind the character of Alice, the symbolism of the white rabbit, the psyche of the red queen.  Harry Potter and the Hunger Games both have great literary content… Come on look at the state of schools now most schools barely have the money and equipment to teach a child let alone keep their attention and make them want to learn… Even when i was in school i was booored to death reading these outdated works of literary art no matter how good they were… There is a reason why schools are opting for more modern literature. You cant continue teaching the same things from generation to generation without an evolution.  Yes teach Shakespeare but don’t act like modern authors don’t exist now in this age with great works as well no pop how culturally “popular” some of their works may be.   It is unrealistic to think that only “scholar” approved writings dictate a challenging enough piece of work for a high school student if you want them to gain a full education and well rounded view as it pertains to literary and society.  Just like all 7 Harry potter books are on my bookcase right next to them are Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Flies.  Teaching nothing but the Classic works in schools is one of the major reasons why children dont read like they used to… J.K Rowling was a blessing because she got a new generation of children to read again and enjoy it… With all that said lets not down play the value and content of The Hunger Games or any book for that matter because there is always something to learn from a book no matter what it is.

    • Trel

      P.S.  The teacher creates the challenge for the student, the story itself is only a means for the child to work through the questions and tasks set out by the teacher whether its a discussion, paper  or whatever… Keep that in mind also.

  • Sarah Sutherland

    I have three actors i think would be good for Finnick…

    Jeremy Sumpter : A lot of people know him for his portrayal of Peter Pan in the 2003 remake of the movie. Obviously, he has grown up quite a bit since then and although no actor fits my ideal Finnick in my mind, I do think Jeremy can pull it off, he being a big and muscular, a football player back in high school i believe and a surfer from a very young age. His hair is ultimately the same hair I imagined for Finnick. Also his blue eyes look green sometimes…Acting wise, I think he needs another break, another chance to prove himself as an actor. (2 pics of jeremy)

    Asher Book: Okay, Asher is a guilty pleasure. I mostly love him because he played Chip on Broadway for like years and he was beautiful in Fame. But, look-wise, the shape of his face seems ideal to Finnick. He is a little scrawny, but he is very muscular as well. Ah, really just a guilty pleasure. Acting-wise, he might be a little too sweet for Finnick, but I think he could pull off the emotional scenes as well. (2 pics of Asher Book)

    Max Irons: So, Red Riding Hood was kind of a dud… just another twilight fetish, but I actually REALLY enjoyed Max’s performance. He is really beautiful, again I think it might be the hair, but I think he could really pull of the look. He is physically fit, a little on the scrawnier side, but I think he definitely has a look about him, that played right, could potentially be taken to be cocky and seductive. I also feel as if through the emotional scenes, he could portray them well. Plus, if I saw him cry I would most likely start crying too :) However, he is in post-production for Jared in the Host, which also comes out in 2013, which could be a problem with the whole “fandom clashing no-no” But yes, beautiful man… :) (3 pictures for eyes, full body, and attitude).

    All three have beautiful eyes, Jeremy’s being perfect kind of sea-greeny naturally. But yeah, my top picks for Finnick in Dreamland…

    But between Armie Hammer and Garrett Hedland, I kind of want Garrett…

    • WhatTheGrace

      I never thought about Jeremy Sumpter he does look very Finnick! He would be a great choice i think! I haven’t seen him in anything else other than Peter Pan, i wonder if he’s been considered.

      • Sarah Sutherland

        I know, right? The more I thought about it, the more perfect Jeremy seemed. He hasn’t been in much, a lot of stuff is coming out later. The only recent thing I saw him in was Soul Surfer, and he had a very small part in that…

    • Kathleen

       The funny thing about Jeremy Sumpter is that he played the love interest of Danielle Chuchran (the girl who plays Katniss in MainstayPro fan videos Selina mentioned) in the awful movie You’re So Cupid.

  • DramaCutie8

    At my school we generally have a mixture of books that we read, at least for the first two years. Such as The Golden Compass, The Book Thief, I Am the Messanger, We all Fall Down, Slumdog Millionaire, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, etc. Along with more traditional books like Macbeth, Fahrenhite 451, Romeo and Juliet, Tale of Two Cities, etc. Then when you are an upperclassman the reading tends to be mainly traditional books, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Scarlet Letter, Cather in the Rye, The Crucible, etc. We also have summer reading in which The Hunger Games is still on the list. In addition I was able to write a paper about the The Hunger Games for my English class. And my teacher said that my topic was really good. I feel like its good to have a mixture of both popular and traditional books, because there are a lot of kids my age who don’t like reading so maybe if they read something that is fun that will open their minds to reading books that aren’t considered to be as “fun” to read. Or also so that teachers can direct students who like those type of novels to more challenging books. I know that when Twilight blew up a lot of my friends were told that they should read Dracula if they were in to vampires and that sort of thing. Also a point that The Hunger Gams is not just another “teen book” is that the book was recommended to my by one of the adult leaders in the youth/teen group I am a part of.

  • DudeFromGermany

    I’m totally with Selina, as I pictured Alex Petifer as Finnick while reading. All of the fan-choices I heard this far haven’t done it for me this far. 

    Further more, I always pictured Keira Knightley as Johanna Mason, allthough that might be a “too big”-name to throw out there… 
    …oh yeah, and thanks Selina for the Danish Dynamite victory versus the Dutch, that just made my day perfect ;-)

    • Selina

      You are welcome, I of course take full responsibility for that victory. ;)

      • DudeFromGermany

        I knew it! ;-P

  • Hungergames

    I THINK DREW VAN ACKER SHOULD PLAY FINNICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hungergames

    Drew van Acker

  • Kate

    I still desperately hope for Jesse Williams. Seriously.

    • Trel

      ooooo i completely forgot about him he would make a great finnick as well

    • Amanda

      I totally thought that I was alone in this boat, but I’m so happy I’m not! No one would be a better Finnick than Jesse!

      • Samuel

        I personally just don’t think he looks right for the part. 

  • Avidreader97534

    This doesn’t have any thing to do with what was last talked about, but i was wondering if you guys had heard of The Capital Games. It’s a really involved fanfic of the Hunger Games is pretty interesting, you should check it out.

  • The507thDoctor

    CIARAN HINDS!!!! In all seriousness I could see Alex Pettyfer playing Finnick, but he’s actually who I imagined as playing Peeta.

  • Razor8

    Isn’t it kind of ironic how Katniss volunteers to take her sister, Prim’s, place in the games…goes through all the trauma…and Prim still dies in the end? Please discuss this

  • WhatTheGrace

    I think it’s interesting that last year Twilight was nominated for best actor/actress and best fight scene and they weren’t this year, Kristen, Rob and Taylor could have easily been nominated in those categories too and i’m pretty sure they could have also included the wolves vs vamps ‘fight scene’ in the fight category. They would have won them all like last year i think, but because they wanted to give The Hunger Games the opportunity to win some they didn’t let them compete in those categories. Josh and Jenn truly deserved the best actor and actress award (especially Josh) they were amazing! so i’m glad they won!

    As for Finnick i really think Armie Hammer would be perfect, if he got into the physical shape he was in when he did ‘The Social Network’ he’d look perfect. Hes gt the ‘charming’ factor too (watch ‘Mirror Mirror’) and he can also act seriously (watch ‘J.Edgar’, he stars opposite Leo Dicaprio)

    I also imagined Finnick to have slightly blondy/goldeny/light brown hair, i looked up specifically to see what ‘bronze’ hair colour is and it’s a slightly light shade of ginger mixed with a little brown. Took quite a while to find though – it’s quite a distinct hair colour.

  • WhatTheGrace

    New thought – How about Hunter Parrish, he was the guy that everyone wanted to play Peeta back when they were casting the role. Looks wise when he was younger (16/17) he was what i pictured when i imagined Peeta. (picture 1)

    But now that he’s a bit older he has that sort of Finnick look about him. I haven’t seen in him in anything other than 17 Again. His hair is what i imagined as bronze even though it’s blonde lol (picture 2)

  • SF

    Lindsey Lohan could be the morphling…

    • Samuel

      or Tigris! 

  • Thegarbar13

    Zac Efron fits the description perfectly…. He is ripped, his hair is golden, his eyes are blue (close enough to green), his skin is remarkably pretty and he is HOT!!!!

  • J_meyer_335

     What happened to Kimmy?

    • Johanna

      yeah, really!

  • ilikevegetables

    love richard but can’t take his pick for finnick serious of course…and the reason he gave for

    my pick would be jessie williams.ever since people first started to mention him i though it was a great idea. it’ll probably go to another white guy though let’s be honest…

    i’d be alright with garett hedlund as well. he used to be my first choice before jessie.
    i’d love to see ruth negga as annie

    i thought it was a bit weird that you guys couldn’t get the names together properly in the beginning. i mean i don’t check every single day for THG news but i certainly knew the rumoured candidates for finnick. maybe you could prepare a little BEFORE the show next time?

    and andrew, you said you’d like to see armie hammer as finnick despite never really having him seen in anything…i don’t think casting someone for just looks is a very good idea… i thought he was horrible in Mirror, Mirror tbqh

    lol rant over. great show!


    • ilikevegetables

       *meant to say ruth negga for johanna

  • Maya

    In regards to the summer reading list thing, in my experiences, our summer reading lists have been simply a list of books. We didn’t have to do anything (analyze them, etc.), they were basically just recommendations. This year though, I’m going to be a freshman in high school and I had a small list of books and have to read one, mark it up, and answer questions for pre-course work. All of that being said, I do realize that this person is older than me (this was in their sophomore year I believe) and school’s do things differently obviously.

    Anyway, I don’t think The Hunger Games being taken off that summer reading list doesn’t have to do with popularity so much as it being because it isn’t that hard to comprehend (like you guys said). Don’t get me wrong, there is a meaning to the story, but it’s pretty apparent and not that hard to understand from reading it. All of the books I read this past year school (none of which I really liked because, like Selina said, school books are crap) were fairly difficult to comprehend and the theme and such weren’t easy to find.  

  • Jenny K.

    My high school (as presented in my question that Richard read) did not require me to analyze the novel in any way my sophomore year. All I had to do when I got back to school was a simple project on it. We didn’t discuss any of the books we read, seeing as we all may have read different books. However, for my junior year, we actually had to write an essay on the book we read, analyzing themes. I chose to read My Sister’s Keeper, which probably is more difficult to read than THG (but not that much more difficult). So I don’t know about everyone else, but our summer reading books didn’t include in-class discussions (unless you took an AP class, but I was in honors), just individual work.

  • Guest

    I imagined Zac Efron to be honest.He has the High School Musical curse but he was great in Charlie St Cloud and he’s going to be in The Paperboy with Nicole Kidman 

  • guest

    Alex Pettyfer is great for Finnick but he has said that he isn’t interested in young adult books turned to movies anymore

  • Kathleen

    I’d like to see Alexis Bledel as Annie. I haven’t decided who my picks are for Finnick or Johanna yet though. What about Mags? I have this really vivid image of her in my mind, but she’s a cartoon. I’ve pictured her this way for so long that I can’t even remember if she’s a particular character from a Disney movie or if I just have an overactive imagination…

  • Johanna

    richard, dickens was as much of pop fiction in his time as suzanne collins is today. furthermore, rarely do authors write in order to display themes; often, the themes are found by the reader, not forced by the author; therefore, saying that only the readers/teachers could find themes in the hunger games is irrelevant. in any case, school literature’s job is not to teach you how to wade through wordy prose; it is to show you how language can be used as a tool for promoting various ideas and concept; is it not?

    • Dreamer

       the point of reading in school is to challenge the student and make them think critically and analyze great works of literature. Although HG is a wonderful book, you can honestly say it’s on par with Shakespeare or Dickens. I think your point is credible when applied to elementary or middle school students (it works for high school but that’s not the main point). And I don’t know about you school but where I go our teacher spends time teaching us how to understand wordy prose by explaining writing techniques and making us think about the meaning.

      • Beccy

        In actuality, I think sticking with ‘the canon’ (which is dominated by white, wealthy, male voices) discourages critical thinking rather than encouraging it. I get SO sick of people mentioning writers like Dickens and Shakespeare as if they are objectively excellent writers/artists, without feeling the need to analyse or explore what makes them good or bad, against what standards, where they fit in politically etc. It’s also really worth noting that both of these authors were the popular writers of their day. They didn’t write with a view to being dense and inaccessible. How would that be an achievement?!

        It would be much more conducive to encouraging critical, analytical thought to encourage people to read a whole range of different texts and analyze them from a whole range of different perspectives. What makes something easy or difficult to read is a technical question in itself! Popularity is a cultural phenomenon worth exploring! I would much rather live in a world where people were encouraged to think about what they were saying and justify themselves, than one where everyone assumes they know (through received wisdom) what is and isn’t good writing, culturally valuable or worth analysing.

        • Dreamer

           I agree that I want to live in a world full of people that are encouraged to think. I just think that there are better books out there suited to do this. The Hunger Games makes me think but not nearly as deeply as other books. Many of it’s messages and themes lay on the surface and I didn’t have to dig deep or think a lot about it to get those messages or ideas.

    • WhatTheGrace

      I agree with you, reading The Hunger Games made me think a whole lot more about character motivations, the politics of the world, how interesting it is to be inside a characters head whilst all theses events are taking place and even comparing it to other literature. I certainly didn’t think about these things when i read books like To Kill a Mocking Bird or Jane Eyre, maybe it’s because i’ve grown up a bit and have more of an opinion.
      It’s weird though if my teacher had asked me to write an essay on a Harry Potter book back when i was 14/15 with the typical questions about characters and themes, i’m pretty sure i would have been able to produce the same level of work if i were writing about dickens etc. You have the whole Nazi parallels, themes of hope, choice, upbringings, parallels between characters, good vs evil… there are also things like this a student could write about if they read The Hunger Games. 

      Books like The Hunger Games are far more memorable than Dicken type books, i do still think that kids should learn about it, but they should also have the choice of reading books like THG which i think leaves more of an impression on both younger and older readers.

  • Amanda

    The minute Finnick was described in Catching Fire, I immediately pictured Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy). I admit this seems to be a very different look from everyone else fans have been pushing, but for me Jesse is Finnick to a T. Tan skin, bronze hair (ok, it’s brown, but close enough), and green eyes, and devastatingly handsome! I don’t really know why he immediately came to mind because I’m not in love with/ the number one fan of/ obsessed with him, but in my mind there is absolutely NO ONE better for the part. I can not budge in this decision.

    • Amanda

      PS Great podcast, I think this episode is my favourite yet!

  • Franki94

    My little crush on Richard just got a little bit bigger with the Ciaran Hinds thing. I think he should have his own podcast, in the style of David Mitchell’s Soap Box, where Richard can have his own little opinions and share them with us as passionately as he so chooses. 

    My advice is keep dreaming, Richard, keep on dreaming.

  • katie

    I’m tired of tailoring to the lowest work ethic level. People will read HG on their own. Teachers should not assign it to encourage students to read other things. This is school–it’s for growth and challenges. If you’re in a remedial class, I understand a HG assignment. Otherwise, I’m with Richard–read it on your own time. Leave school for literature. Why read HG when you could read other classic dystopian novels that, in addition to creating the discussed themes, also provide important literary value? HG’s ideas are great, but the writing simply will not challenge or teach students nearly as much as other works could.

    • Frankie94

      I agree with this. While I think that The Hunger Games and Harry Potter and the like are great books, definately worth reading and looking at indepth for all of the ‘hidden’ messages etc, I agree that there are other books that are technically more challenging. I do get annoyed when English teachers dismiss ‘modern classics’, but students have been learning successfully from Dickens and Shelley and Wilde for a lot longer than they have The Hunger Games. The reason why I don’t think they are worth spending a unit on in class is because the writers are inexperienced and will get better as they write more. We don’t study a lot of Dicken’s early work, but more of his early work, because it demonstrates the techniques that he had worked so hard to learn and develop. I could keep going on this, but I won’t. I hope people catch my drift.

  • Amanda

    Keep calm!

  • Erica

    Chris Evans would be a perfect Finnick!!! Not only is he delicious but he is a great actor.

  • Meg

    When I read Catching Fire I always thought of Grant Gustin as Finnick. He was tanned and had bronze hair. And again from glee I always imagined Naya Rivera as Johanna, although it made very little sense to me why. I knw it’s unlikely she’d be cast because of the filming clashes, and the Fandom Barriers, I don’t know if the same applies Gustin.

  • yareader

    I want to add that it depends on what grade you’re in and what school you go to and how they handle summer reading. I’ve had to do reports, tests, and graded class discussions on summer reading books since 6th grade, but I’ve seen that some people just read the summer books and do little independent projects. HG is ok for the little projects or a book report (in middle school), but I don’t think it should be used for graded discussions, tests, etc in high school).

  • Debbie

    I believe you mentioned Alex Pettyfer for Finnick…I totally agree! Out of all the names you mentioned…I like him the best. And I didn’t catch the description of bronze hair. I always imagined him as a blonde. :-)

  • Sacha

    While no offense to Richard, I can’t recall ever agreeing with the views he’s shared on this podcast. However, I am absolutely on board with what he said about Finnick from the book – I too somehow missed that he was only 25. I pictured him in his early to mid thirties. And the more I thought about who could really capture that charming and strong embodiment that is Finnick, I just can’t get Chris Hemsworth out of my brain. I know it would be cheesy having both brothers in the franchise.. but he has the winning smile, clever delivery, and physical attributes to really BE Finnick. So… he’s my fan pick :)

  • Arwen42303

    Tom Austen is my pick for Finnick.  

  • Jess

    I agree with Richard on almost everything he said about reading The Hunger Games at school, except for one point:
    I think there are certain basic techniques of literature analysis, like summaries and characterisations, that can be practised on almost any work of fiction. My brother’s teacher used Harry Potter for that: each kid in the class had to write a characterisation of a different Harry Potter character. The kids (aged 11-12 at the time) loved it, put much more effort into those essays than usual, and as a result, they learned how to analyse a fictional character at least as well as they would have if they had practised it on a Shakespeare play. Of course, they then moved on to other types of literature to refine those skills.

  • Devon Thorsell

    I agree with Selena’s points on keeping The Hunger Games on school reading lists. I was first introduced to the books by the parent of someone I babysat for and she though that the books were a bit intense for younger school children. I think it is important to keep in mind that children of some ages and reading levels will be challenged by the material in the books. For example, I wouldn’t recommend The Hunger Games for high school or even late middle school reading lists, but I think it will be a good read for younger students. Additionally, I want to point out that for a summer reading list, the books need to be accessible enough for most if not all students to read and understand them on their own rather than through a classroom setting.

  • Jacob

    I would consider Mark Pellegrino. Most would recognize him from LOST. He plays Jacob.

    • Jacob

      Mark Pellegrino as Finnick

  • Jacob

    I would also consider Milla Jovovich as Johanna

  • Mrs_Badcrumble

    Hey Richard, for someone who is constantly criticizing everything and everyone, what about giving a credible suggestion for Finnick that we can seriously consider and discuss?

    I can see both Selina’s and Andrew’s suggestions working. They are both goodlooking enough, but I’m more inclined towards Hammer. I think he would be great for the more dark and intense side of Finnick.

  • Corin

    Regarding Richard’s comment about the Hunger Games not being particularly difficult to read… I do agree that the words are not hard to understand but the content of the story is where it becomes tricky and why it might be on a school reading list. 
    My daughter is about to go into 6th grade and she will be reading HG during the year.  I’m not sure it’s the best idea for 6th graders because I think most kids that age (11-12) are not going to grasp the true point of the story.  While they are more than capable of reading the words they are too caught up in Gale vs Peeta to truly understand the very grown up messages that are throughout the story.

  • Samuel

    Lionsgate should just hurry up and cast Ciaron Hinds as Finnick, to be honest. 

  • Hayley

    The Hunger Games should be taught in schools because of the social commentary and themes it contains. Not just the power of friendship and good vs. evil, but how culture affects how we think. For example, how at the beginning Effie is more concerned with Katniss and Peeta’s table manners than the fact that they are about to die for her entertainment. It’s kind of the same here: We’re more concerned with ing married and who is going to play Finnick than kids who are dying from starvation and disease in third world countries. (For more on this topic, see “The Metaphorical Implications” on YouTube by hankschannel.)

  • Hayley

    Sorry, *who is getting married

  • Kate

    Concerning Finnick’s casting, I feel compelled to defend the choice (option?) of Garrett Hedlund since no one on the show seemed to be very familiar with him. Ever since I read the books, even before the Hunger Games’ casting was announced, I’ve always cast Garrett Hedlund as Finnick for several reasons (I also know he’s also a fairly popular fan choice, at least on tumblr). 

    First, I believe Garrett fits the physical description as well as possible (obviously, no one can perfectly fit Finnick’s description, as everyone has their own idealized mental version of him). He has bronze hair, is tall, is around the right age, and has a muscular, athletic build. To me, unlike Arnie Hammer, he has the look of someone who has not just built and sculpted his muscles but actually USES them, just like I imagine Finnick would living in District 4. Also, I’ve always felt that having been in the Games and a mentor, Finnick has a maturity and strength beyond his years (although I guess this isn’t unique to him as a Victor). 

    Finally, Garrett is an extremely talented actor who could really bring depth to the character. He has had parts in Troy, Four Brothers, and Georgia Rule (a Lindsey Lohan movie, so it’ll be almost as if she’s in the movie by association, eh, Richard?). More recently, he has starred in Tron: Legacy (even though it wasn’t that good) and he just finished On the Road with Kristen Stewart, playing the lead role and being the only one really singled out for praise. He always throws himself into his roles, and he would uphold the integrity of the character and his role within the story. I think this will especially come through in Mockingjay, and that Garrett will play a broken Finnick beautifully.

    This ended up being a really long post, but the tl;dr version is Garrett’s a great actor and a great fit for the role, and I hope to God he gets cast as Finnick.

  • Sam

    BRING ERIC SCULL TO HUNGER GAMES CHAT!  He reminds me of a positive version of Richard, and he would be awesome on this podcast.  BRING ERIC SCULL!

  • Erica

    In regards to an early comment about Hunger Games fans being Harry Potter fans opposed to also Twilight fans, I’m a fan of Twilight and the Hunger Games. A lot of people are, and I think the Hunger Games fans are a mix of both Twilight and Harry Potter fans. It’s unfair to say that the Hunger Games fans and HP fans are the same when they aren’t at all, but I understand we differ in personal opinion as well.

  • Rebecca Williams

    I like Richard on the Hunger Games Chat, a lot of people call him negative. But really he is just bringing in a fresh/different prospective.  I don’t always agree with him (such as all Hunger Games fans are Harry Potter fans, I’m a fan of both as well as Twilight and that is what actually got me to read the Hunger Game books…Waiting on other movies to be released), but he is fun to listen to and makes the podcast interesting.  I’m always excited when he can be on.

    P.S. Andrew make some more Imprint episodes Thanks!! :)

  • Jessica

    Hey Andrew, Selina, and Richard. So I know this episode is a few months old, but I was listening to it again and had a thought about the whole summer reading issue. What about “Perks of Being a Wallflower”? I wonder if it’s on summer reading lists now, and if it is, will it be removed once the movie comes out? I can’t remember what my reading lists were like (I’ve been out of school longer than I care to admit.), but Perks is a fantastic book that I’m sure many teens would want to read, and should read, and I’d hate to see it suffer the same fate as HG and HP just because it’s about to hit the big screen.

  • Meg.O

    I think Jackson Rathbone would make an amazing Finnick

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