Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence is "a clear frontrunner" for the lead role in Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games," an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Lionsgate is expected to formally offer her the role on Monday in what the studio hopes will be a major franchise – based on the best-selling dystopian novels – in the years to come.
About 10 actresses are in contention for the role, but none apart from Lawrence have caused great excitement, the individual said.
Lawrence is up for the lead role of Katniss , a girl who joins a survival contest in order to save her community. The story takes place in the future, where teenagers are chosen by lottery to compete to the death in gladiator-like spectacles, the Hunger Games.
Jennifer Lawrence_1.jpg” style=”border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-right-style: solid; border-bottom-style: solid; border-left-style: solid; margin-left: 15px; margin-right: 15px; margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; float: right; width: 200px; height: 265px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 16px; line-height: 16px; ” title=”” />Lawrence, who was nominated for best actress for the 2010 "Winter's Bone," is one of three Oscar nominees looking at the role: "True Grit's" Hailee Steinfeld and "Little Miss Sunshine's" Abigail Breslin also have been considered.
More recently, "Lovely Bones" actress Saoirse Ronan's name has been mentioned.
Lionsgate is hoping "The Hunger Games," which is based on Suzanne Collins' bestseller, will be a major franchise.
Alex Pettyfer, who plays John in 'I Am Number Four," is rumored to be under consideration for the role of Peeta Mellark.
Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit") is directing the movie, which will debut on March 23, 2012..