Academy Award-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence has been cast in the coveted role of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-seller, The Hunger Games, beating out other younger actresses such as Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld. The casting news will undoubtedly cause an uproar amongst die-hard fans, because Katniss is described as olive-skinned with dark hair in the book, although her younger sister is described as fair and blonde. The novel, which has sold over three million copies in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy that have developed a global following. Lionsgate will release The Hunger Games on March 23, 2012. Lawrence, 20, gained attention with her breakout role in last year’s Winter’s Bone, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She’s already shot three films since then: X-Men: First Class, The Beaver directed by Jodie Foster and the Sundance Grand Jury winner Like Crazy. Author Suzanne Collins says, “Jennifer’s just an incredible actress. So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave. I never thought we’d find somebody this perfect for the role. And I can’t wait for everyone to see her play it.” The Hunger Games is about a dystopic Capitol that requires each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to participate in the annual Hunger Games — a fight-to-the-death live televised event. Katniss’ little sister is chosen to participate and Katniss volunteers to take her place. The Hunger Games novel has been on the New York Times best seller list for over 100 consecutive weeks and has been published in 41 countries.